Bank Austria Creditanstalt strongly expands its Croatian branch network
- The bank rents 32 branches of FINA, the Croatian Finance Agency
- Bank Austria Creditanstalt thus strengthens its position as third-largest Croatian bank
- Successful first six months for Splitska Banka
Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA) expands its Croatian branch network by 32 branches, bringing the total number to 110. This is an increase of 40 percent. Yesterday the bank signed an agreement with FINA, the Croatian Finance Agency, by which it rents 32 branches in the north of Croatia. With the new branches in Istria, Central and Nothern Coratia as well as Slavonia, BA-CA now has an extensive country-wide network in Croatia. Until now, the network of Splitska Bank, Bank Austria Creditanstalt's Croatian subsidiary, has comprised 78 branches concentrated in the south of Croatia, in the Dalmatian region, and in the country's capital Zagreb. Friedrich Kadrnoska, Deputy Chairman of BA-CA's Managing Board with responsibility for Central and Eastern Europe: "FINA is the ideal partner for us to complete our branch network in Croatia. We are thereby closing the last gaps in the network in the north of the country."
FINA has branches in cities in the northern and eastern parts of Croatia. A big advantage is their location: most of the branches are situated in the city centre, in the most frequented parts of the urban areas. The branches have so far been used for processing payment transactions, i.e. for bank-specific activities. Therefore Bank Austria Creditanstalt sees them as an ideal opportunity to widen its customer base. Moreover, more than 130 experienced employees at FINA's branches will work for Splitska Banka. As part of a "shop-in-shop" strategy, space remaining in the rented buildings will be used by FINA for its activities.
Successful first six months for Splitska Banka
On 1 July 2003, Splitska Banka and the BA-CA subsidiary HVB Croatia merged. The new Splitska Banka performed well in the first half of 2003. For legal reasons, Splitska Banka and HVB Croatia reported their results for the first half of 2003. The results indicated below are pro forma figures for the merged bank.
Net income before taxes for the first six months of 2003 of the new bank was 138.1 million kuna (EUR 18.5 million), up by 6 per cent from 131.4 million kuna (EUR 17.5 million) in the first half of 2002. Net interest income rose by 16 per cent to 262 million kuna (EUR 34.8 million) (first half of 2002: 227 million kuna / EUR 30.3 million). The return on equity before taxes reached 20.4 per cent (first half of 2002: 21.19 per cent), the cost/income ratio was 58 per cent (2002: 51 per cent). At the end of June 2003, the bank's total assets amounted to 16 billion kuna (EUR 2.1 billion), up from 12.6 billion kuna (EUR 1.7 billion) in the first half of 2002.
With the new branches, Splitska Banka will strengthen its position as Croatia's third-largest bank. Its market share in the Croatian banking market is about 9 per cent. At present the bank serves about 250,000 customers. (See chart of ranking of Croatian banks).
Within the HVB Group, Bank Austria Creditanstalt is responsible for the markets in Central and Eastern Europe, where the bank has pursued a strategy of targeted expansion since the 1990s. BA-CA is by far the largest banking group in Austria, its total assets amount to about EUR 150 billion. Bank Austria Creditanstalt operates the most extensive network in Central and Eastern Europe, with some 900 branches in 11 countries. Added to this are the units of CA IB and BA-CA Leasing, which are also active in almost all countries in the CEE region. Recognising the bank's commitment to the region, the US magazine "Global Finance" and the British magazine "Euromoney" have recently named Bank Austria Creditanstalt "Best Bank in Central and Eastern Europe".
Ranking of Croatian banks
Enquiries: Bank Austria Creditanstalt Group Public Relations
Ildiko Füredi, tel. +43 (0)5 05 05 56102 ;