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Awards for excellence - Hungary

Best Bank:

OTP Bank

Best debt house:

Central-European International Bank

Best equity house:

Erste Bank

Best M&A house:


Hungarian banks are ahead of others in the region since Hungary was one of the first eastern European countries to open up. The first foreign banks started operating there in the mid-1980s.

OTP Bank stands out as one of the best banks in the region. It is dynamic and transparent, has a strong management and sound capital structure, and from a shareholders point of view returns hardly get any better than its 28% ROE. This is a significant achievement given that nine out of 29 Hungarian banks were still not making any money at the end of last year.

Uniquely, OTP is also under local management and local ownership. There is no strategic shareholder though 42% of shares are owned by foreign shareholders.

OTP dominates the Hungarian market with a quarter of total assets. Its strength lies in municipal banking and retail - it manages almost two-thirds of retail current accounts and 90% of local government accounts.

OTP has embarked on a cost-reduction programme, and achieved a 20% rise in pre-tax profit in 2000.

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