UniCredit’s eastern Europe arm boosts liquidity to buffer Greek crisis
VIENNA - Reuters
AP photoUniCredit’s central and eastern Europe arm Bank Austria has boosted its banks’ liquidity to buffer impact from Greece, the head of its eastern Europe division, Carlo Vivaldi, told Austrian newspaper Kurier.
“You can have an ever-so-healthy bank with strong clients - if you’re not liquid any more, you suddenly go under. That’s why we have equipped ourselves with comfortable cash cushions in all our banks,” Vivaldi said.
Russia was Bank Austria’s single most lucrative market in 2014 and is developing “better than expected” due to its focus on solid business clients and high-end private customers, he said, adding that he expected no losses in Russia.
“In the first quarter of 2015 we were already above our planned figures. Certainly, profit is smaller than in the same period in the previous year, but that was to be expected.”
Bank Austria wants to sell its Ukraine business and still continues to hold talks with potential buyers, Vivaldi said, without giving details.
Vivaldi said no concrete acquisition plans were on his desk at the moment. “In principle, all countries are interesting where we want to grow, like the Czech Republic or portfolios in Romania or Turkey,” he said.