OTP Bank Nyrt. (OTP), Hungary’s biggest bank, is seeking to double its share in the Ukrainian consumer- loan market this year as part of its expansion in the eastern European country.
OTP, which entered Ukraine in 2006 and has subsidiaries in nine countries in central and eastern Europe, is relying on its foreign units to boost profitability as domestic operations are hampered by Hungary’s regulator policies and weaker forint.
“We’re focusing on consumer loans,” Tamas Hak-Kovacs, appointed the chief executive officer of OTP’s Ukrainian unit in March, told reporters in Kiev today. Consumer loans are going to be the main strategy for the retail business, he said.
The lender may double its share in the Ukrainian consumer loan market by the fourth quarter of 2012 from around 12 percent a year earlier, Hak-Kovacs said. The bank will also continue developing services for corporate clients, he said.
“We’re extremely committed to Ukraine,” Istvan Hamecz, chairman of the unit’s supervisory board said. “We have money, capital and liquidity to support” Ukrainian operations, he said, adding the unit has no plans to increase capital.
The bank plans to keep its network of branches at 155 this year, Hak-Kovacs said. This year’s profit may decline from 2011, he added.
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