Bank Austria Creditanstalt is new owner of Central Profit Banka

Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA) has signed the closing contract with Sarajevo Privatisation Venture (SPV) and is now the majority owner of Central Profit Banka (CPB). SPV is a joint venture of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Federation of Bosnia Herzegovina, and B.P. Invest Consult, an international consultancy firm. The agreement to purchase CPB was signed in June this year, when it was also agreed that the IFC would acquire a direct interest of 19 % in Central Profit Banka. BA-CA intends to make an offer to minority shareholders currently holding 4.5%. On completion, BA-CA will own up to 81% of CPB. Furthermore, CPB signed a loan agreement with the IFC for a EUR 10 million long-term credit line.

With the purchase of Central Profit Banka BA-CA is going to be the third largest bank in the Bosnian-Herzegovinian market. It will merge CPB with the existing operation in Bosnia- Herzegovina. This process should be accomplished in the third quarter 2004.

Together, the BA-CA subsidiary HVB Bank and CPB will have total assets of EUR 221 million, 30 branches, more than 60,000 customers and a 7.4 percent market share. Through its international know-how, BA-CA offers its corporate customers easy access to EU markets. For retail customers, the bank has state-of-the-art products. CPB and HVB Bank plan to open 4 additional branches this year. Then the two banks will operate a truly countrywide network, maintaining a presence in the Federation as well as in Rep. Srpska. The bank holds a top position in several areas: it is the clear number one in payment services and one of the leading banks in the credit card sector.