Romania's top bank by assets BCR will rise its share capital by EUR 100m, says the Erste Group head

Publish date: 25-06-2009
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Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR), Romania's largest bank by assets, will increase its share capital by around 100 million euros, but the lender's main shareholder, the Austrian Erste Group, is willing to provide any amount necessary, declared the group's CEO, Andreas Treichl.

Sources of the market declared in May that BCR needs a recapitalization of about 460 million lei (about 100 million euros) for 2009 and 2010, according to the stress tests ran by the central bank (BNR) at the request of the International Monetary Fund. Thus, BCR would need about 230 million euros this year to keep the solvency above 10 percent.

Treichl added that Erste will keep investing in the Romanian market and that BCR will still open new units. He also said that the group is open to making new acquisitions if the other shareholders are planning to sell.

Erste Group Bank holds 69.30 percent of the BCR capital. Financial companies SIF Moldova, SIF Banat-Crisana, SIF Transilvania and SIF Muntenia control 6 percent each and SIF Oltenia chews on 6.11 percent.

BCR granted this year dividends worth 813.07 million lei, which stands for 40 percent of the net consolidated profit scored by the group last year, by International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

The Erste head also mentioned that non-performing credits could keep rising during coming months but that BCR will try to restructure as many of them as possible.

He advised banks in Romania to focus on lowering interests and on the stability of the exchange rate and added that the central bank may inject some liquidity into the market soon.

As to the economic crisis, Treichl pointed to the importance of a connection between the political and the business environments and to the by now insufficient effort made by Romania towards that end.

Erste Bank was one of the Austrian banks to accept the 100 billion euros supporting package from the Austrian government, which came as capital injections and state guarantees


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