Spain's La Caixa signs deal with Austria's Erste

5th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

Under the new agreement, both banks have agreed to become preferred partners and have access to each other’s clients in their respective home markets.

Madrid – Spanish savings bank La Caixa said Thursday it had signed a "preferred partnership" deal with Erste bank and raised its stake in the Austrian group to 5.1 percent from 4.9 percent.

"This agreement will offer both institutions access to each other’s clients in their respective home markets," it said.

"The envisaged cooperation will allow la Caixa to support those of its 10.6 million customers who have specific business interests in Central and Eastern Europe, thereby offering Erste Group access to retail and corporate customers in Spain."

It said Caixa's investment arm, Criteria CaixaCorp, "has increased its stake in Erste Group from 4.9 percent and now owns 16.2 million shares or 5.1 percent of the total outstanding voting shares."

Criteria CaixaCorp has also "indicated the possibility of increasing its stake in Erste Group over time".

"Erste Group is the best possible partner for us to enter a region of Europe which continues to offer long-term growth perspectives," the statement quoted Isidro Fainé, chairman of la Caixa and Criteria CaixaCorp, as saying.

In April, Erste Bank said it had turned in a net profit of EUR 232.1 million in the period from January to March, compared with a loss of EUR 603.4 million in the preceding three months.

AFP / Expatica

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