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Bank reorganization: UniCredit/HVB defines its model

The future for UniCredit and HVB’s merged operations in central and eastern Europe has been determined, with HVB’s subsidiary, Bank Austria Creditanstalt, set to become the sub-holding company for CEE operations within the UniCredit group.

Under the new agreement, which replaces one that had been in place since 2000 governing Bank Austria’s functions in the HVB Group, Bank Austria will manage, within the UniCredit Group’s guidelines, the group’s banking network in central and eastern Europe. The only exception is operations in Poland, to be managed directly by UniCredit. Responsibility for Turkey, where UniCredit has an agreement with the Koc Group for a 50/50 partnership in banking and financial services, has yet to be allocated.

As a result of the agreement, Bank Austria will take over the banking subsidiaries and branches of UniCredit and HVB in this region.

“The new UniCredit Group is the first truly European bank,” says Alessandro Profumo, chief executive of the group. “As sub-holding company for operations in the CEE region, BA-CA will play an important role in our European group. We are market leader in this growth region. Our plans envisage that BA-CA should expand its position in these markets and in Austria, making full use of opportunities for growth.”

Bank Austria representatives believe that the merger will strengthen the bank’s position in central and eastern Europe, thanks to its increased capital base. Erich Hampel, chief executive of Bank Austria, is expected to continue at the helm of the newly merged entity.

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