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Banking Industry – Profit 60% higher than previous year

Banks make 470-million-euro profits nine months into the year
Financial News – ING Bank
Dec 20 2005

According to reports of National Bank of Romania (BNR), the net profits made by commercial banks in the first nine months amount to more than 470 million euros, the same as the profits of the banking system for the whole of 2004, Ziarul financiar daily reports on December 15. Neither the interest decline, the lending restrictions imposed by BNR, nor competition on the market affected the profits of most banks in any visible way. Banks, after all, have first cut interest on deposits and only later reducing those on loans, showing special concern for the preservation of their margins, especially when it comes to individual clients. More than 60 percent of the net profit of the banking system from January through September came from Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR) and BRD – Groupe Societe Generale, the top two financial groups in Romania. Nine months into the year, BCR logged nearly 180 million euros in profit, while BRD posted 124 million euros. Raiffeisen Bank did not reveal its profits for the first nine months but was making 17.4 million euros, midyear. HVB Bank, which climbed to number four in terms of assets at the end of September, logged 33.6 million euros profits. Bancpost, the fifth player in terms of assets nine months into the year made 12 million euros profits. After seeing losses during the first half, CEC in its turn posted 870,000 euros profits for the first three quarters. Next in line, the Dutch banks ABN Amro and ING do not reveal financial results during the year. Significant profit growth was witnessed by Banca Transilvania, which made it into the top ten players in terms of assets. Its profit stood at 20 million euros. Out of the banks to have released nine-month financials, Alpha Bank derived 21.3 million euros profits. Banca Româneasc?, a subsidiary of the National Bank of Greece, saw its profits shrink to only 3.2 million euros, due to large expenses related to investments for the expansion of operations. UniCredit, which could be pushed up to third place in terms of sales, following merger with HVB/Tiriac, made 4.2 million euros in profit for the first three quarters. In 2004, the top ten banks collected nearly 400 million euros profits, most of them seeing growth of as much as 60 percent as compared to the previous year.