Erste Bank Will Not Sell Eastern European Assets, Treichl Says

11.28.2011 By Florentina Dragu

Austrian Erste Bank plans to become a major lender in eastern Europe and doesn’t consider selling its assets in the region, Chief Executive Officer Andreas Treichl said.

"Our strategy is to be the main financial services provider in eastern Europe and the (global economic) crisis has not changed our view at all. Actually, the crisis confirmed our view that over the next 25 years, the European Union will depend to a larger extent on growth generated in the eastern part of the EU," Treichl told Mediafax in a phone interview.

"We have zero intentions to leave the region or to sell assets there," he replied to a question on whether Erste plans to sell assets in the CEE region to increase its Tier 1 capital ratio.

Under no circumstance the CEE markets are a threat to Austrian banks, Treichl said.

"There are currently many discussions that the exposure of Austrian banks to eastern Europe represents a problem for Austria and its banking system. We had the same story four years ago, when… the media said eastern Europe was going down the drains. Actually, it turned out that the eastern Europe was doing a lot better than the southern region. Now we have the same thing again," the Erste official said.


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