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Dec 21, 2007 15:19 EEST
December 21 (SeeNews) - International rating agency Fitch has affirmed the support rating on Croatian bank Societe Generale - Spltiska Banka at '2' to reflect probable support from the bank's majority owner, France's Societe Generale (SG).
Societe Generale bought 99.75% of HVB Splitska Banka from Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA) for 1.0 billion euro ($1.4 billion) last year and renamed it to Societe Generale - Splitska Banka.
"SG has a major presence in southeastern Europe, and expects that the acquisition will lead to synergies with its other operations in Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro as well as with other operational divisions of the group," Fitch said in a statement.
However, SG Splitska Banka's performance is expected to be impacted by the maximum 12% per year limit on loan growth, introduced by Croatia's central bank this year, in addition to the stringent reserve requirements in place, which make financing the loan book more expensive, it added.
SG Splitska Banka is Croatia's fifth-largest bank in terms of assets. It holds some 8.5% of the assets of the Croatian banking system and has a strong position in the country's southern region of Dalmatia.
($= 0.696 euro)
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