RZB: Reports regarding region risk are pure nonsensePublish date: 25-02-2009
Raiffeisen group's CEE subsidiaries will receive additional capital should they need it, states Walter Rothensteiner, CEO with Raiffeisen Zentralbank, which indirectly controls Raiffeisen Bank Romania. "At any rate, we're speaking of sums that will not cause us major difficulties," stated the RZB head quoted by Austria's Profil weekly.
He labelled the recent reports referring to the risks banking groups with operations in the region are facing as "pure nonsense". "We have almost 15 million customers in Central and Eastern Europe and we will maintain our position after the crisis ends. Saving and lending will be further needed, and we'll be there," Rothensteiner said. As for the renewed rumours regarding the risk that the entire Raiffeisen group should collapse because of the unit managing operations in the region, Raiffeisen International, he deemed them as "idiocy".
"This is pure idiocy. These rumours are completely unfounded. Otherwise, I wouldn't be sitting here so calm." Since September 2008, Raiffeisen International has seen its capitalisation go down by 7bn euros, to around 2.3bn euros, as the price of shares has plummeted from 77 to 15 euros. Raiffeisen and Erste Group, the majority shareholder in BCR, are considered to be the most exposed to the potential risks of the financial situation in the region deteriorating further. Raiffeisen even called for support from the states where the group has subsidiaries, while Erste maintains it does not need help.
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