Bloomberg News

Erste Rejects Report of Property Sale Link to Capital Gap

April 13, 2012

Erste Group Bank AG (EBS), eastern Europe’s second biggest lender, rejected a report that it was selling properties in Vienna to fill a 166 million-euro ($217 million) capital gap by June.

The potential sale of properties is related to Erste’s new company building -- Erste Campus --, which is due to be completed in 2015, said Hana Cygonkova, a spokeswoman for the Vienna-based lender. The new complex will combine 4,000 employees currently working at 23 sites, she said, adding that only seven of those buildings were owned by Erste, while the others were rented.

“The sale has nothing to do with the remaining capital gap,” Cygonkova said. Erste’s capital ratio under European Banking Authority rules was 8.9 percent at the end of last year and will be above 9 percent at the end June, she said.

Erste plans to keep the building housing its headquarters in downtown Vienna and its IT center in the capital’s eleventh district, she said.

WirtschaftsBlatt newspaper reported today that Erste is selling property to fill its EBA capital gap, citing unidentified sources. The lender’s headquarters may be worth 60 million euros while a separate building near the city’s former stock exchange may be valued at 30 million euros, the paper said.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Zoe Schneeweiss at

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