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Poland: Bank Pekao SA Counting On Merger With Bank BPH To Expand Market
Bank Pekao SA is counting on the Banking Supervisory Commission's approval for the bank's investor UniCredito Italiano to carry out its rights arising from 71.03% shares in Bank BPH.
Bank Pekao SA is counting on the Banking Supervisory Commission's approval for the bank's investor UniCredito Italiano to carry out its rights arising from 71.03% shares in Bank BPH. This would allow Pekao to develop on the European market, according to the bank's CEO Jan K. Bielecki's Tuesday statements. The Banking Supervisory Commission is to deal with UniCredito Italiano's motion at its sitting on March 8, although members of the Commission have signaled that the decision may not be immediate. UniCredito announced earlier that it wanted to announce a call for around 29% of shares in BPH, which are not owned by Bank Austria Creditanstalt of the HVB Group, and then to merge BPH with its Polish asset - Bank Pekao SA. The merger would take place in one to two years. If that scenario materializes the largest bank in Poland would be formed, controlling around 20% of the market.In other news, Bank Pekao SA is expecting a single-digit rise in net profit in 2006, which on a consolidated level, amounted to PLN1.54 billion in 2005, according to the bank's deputy CEO Luigi Lovaglio's Tuesday statements. "In 2006 our growth will be more rapid than market growth. We do not want to grow with the market; we want to be the market. We expect lower than 20% growth in the whole market. Probably in the first half growth will be slight, and it will accelerate in the second half," the deputy CEO told a press conference. In 2005, the bank posted PLN1.54 billion profit compared with PLN1.32 billion profit a year earlier.