Croatian HPB capital hike delayed

The delay in the capital increase of the country’s largest state-owned bank Hrvatska Postanska Banka (HPB) will not impede its operations neither it would prevent the acquisition of the small-sized Jadranska Banka, which is in final stage of negotiations, HPB CEO Tomislav Vuic said in an interview for local tportal.hr. However, the HPB is functioning with low capital adequacy and needs capital for development and further expansion. Vuic said that the bank focuses on organic growth but that other acquisitions of small banks are possible as well. Vuic stated that the plans for 2018 would not change but will have to be adjusted and voiced expectations that the capital hike will be implemented in 2018. HPB is the seventh largest bank in Croatia in terms of assets, accounting for 5% of the market at end-2016. It has 53 branches servicing more than 600,000 retail and over 8,000 corporate clients. Vuic says that it is the least capitalized from larger banks with capital adequacy ratio at 17.6%, assets of over HRK20bn and capital of HRK1.9bn at the end of November. Further growth of the bank is restrained by central bank requirements and the bank needs to raise HRK600m to expand. It had planned the capital injection for this year but the state as major stakeholder delayed the move and did not explain its decision. HPB has earlier said only that the state was still negotiating with private investors on the capital hike.

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