Challenges and Prospects
Edited by Klaus Liebscher, Josef Christl, Peter Mooslechner and Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald
Chapter 25: Banking in South-East Europe: the case of Erste Bank
Manfred Wimmer I would like to react to some of the terms – and their counterparts – used in the other contributions to this section. One of those counterpart pairs is foreign banks versus domestic banks. I do not share that thinking. That is not a category for Erste Bank as a group. We very much like to think about our operations in, presently, Central Europe and Croatia, as domestic banks. These banks of course happen to have a foreign owner in the same way as the majority of our shareholders are non-Austrians. Yet we deﬁne markets as our home markets and this is what we mean; we feel at home there and this is where we see our faith and destiny. We are a company listed on the Vienna stock exchange which has a market value at present of roughly EUR 9 billion. If you look at the distribution of this market value, 50 per cent of our market value is represented by our business in the Czech Republic, a further 15 per cent by our business in Slovakia, a further 15 per cent by our businesses in Hungary and Croatia and a mere 20 per cent of our total enterprise value is represented by our business in Austria. Now guess where we feel at home? I do not think that in attitude and perception there is a huge diﬀerence between a bank with foreign owners and a bank with domestic owners. If you look at where we allocate...
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