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07.10.2003

Bank Austria Creditanstalt is new owner of Central Profit Banka

  • Closing of the acquisition was signed 
  • BA-CA becomes the third largest bank in Bosnia Herzegovina
  • Further expansion of BA-CA's position in South-East Europe

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 we are going to be the third largest bank in the Bosnian-Herzegovinian market. This will further enhance and underline our top position in South-East Europe.“ says Anton Knett, General Manager for South-East Europe at Bank Austria Creditanstalt. “We will merge CPB with our existing operation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, HVB Bank by using our proven IT platform. This process should be accomplished in the third quarter 2004. We will then be able to offer an even wider range of products to both retail and corporate clients ”, he added.

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. “Our aim is to be a strong, undisputed number 3 on the market”, says Knett. 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 country-wide 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.
Bank Austria Creditanstalt has already set up a banking subsidiary, HVB Bank Bosna i Hercegovina, in September 2002 which is focussing on private banking and international corporate customers. At present, HVB Bank has two branches in Sarajevo and Mostar and is about to open a second branch in Sarajevo as well as a branch in Banja Luka.

Bank Austria Creditanstalt expands its presence in South-East Europe
The acquisition of Central Profit Banka is part of the targeted growth strategy pursued by
BA-CA in the region of South-East Europe. In the past year, BA-CA consistently continued its expansion in the region: in spring 2002, it acquired Splitska Banka, the third-largest Croatian bank. In October 2002, BA-CA purchased Biochim, the fourth-largest bank in Bulgaria. Most recently, in March 2003, the bank opened a representative office in Macedonia. Compared with the previous year, total assets of Bank Austria Creditanstalt's operations in the region of South-East Europe more than doubled to about EUR 4 billion. Within a single year, the number of customers in SEE rose from 69,000 to about 540,000. 

Enquiries: Bank Austria Creditanstalt Group Public Relations
Ildiko Füredi, tel. +43 (0)5 05 05 56102;
e-mail: ildiko.fueredi@ba-ca.com