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BUSINESS SHORTS

Bank profits on the rise

SLOVAKIA's banks ended the first half of 2007 with a taxed profit of Sk9.3 billion (€278 million), up 15 percent from last year.

Slovakia's three biggest banks earned an aggregate net profit of more than Sk6 billion (€179 million) in the first six months of this year, the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) announced on July 31, the SITA newswire wrote.

The country's biggest bank, Slovenská Sporiteľňa, reported the best economic result. Growth in its loans and deposits contributed to its net profit of Sk2.3 billion (€68.7 million).

VÚB was second with a taxed profit of Sk2 billion (€59.8 million). Tatra Banka earned a taxed profit of Sk1.7 billion (€50.8 million) by the end of June.

The economic daily Hospodárske Noviny wrote that the banks' sound results can be attributed to the continuing construction boom, resulting in an increasing interest in mortgage loans. The demand for consumer loans is growing, as well.

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