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Slovak banks booming in 2007

BANKS in Slovakia raked in Sk13.8 billion (€416.1 million) in the first nine months of 2007, the Hospodárske Noviny daily wrote. Compared with the same period last year, it's a growth of almost 15 percent.

The three biggest Slovak banks - Slovenská Sporiteľňa, Tatra Banka and VÚB Bank - made up two-thirds of the profit, or more than Sk9 billion.

Most of the growth came from net interest income, which brought the banks Sk28.8 billion. The growing interest in mortgage and consumer loans led to the dramatic increase in interest income.

"The amount of the loans provided to clients grew by one-third compared to the first three quarters of 2006," Spovenská Sporiteľna spokesperson Miriam Fuňová told the daily.

The banks also earned a sound profit from banking fees. According to a survey by Symsite Research, Slovakia's banking fees are the lowest in the European Union, but because clients are making more transactions, revenues from fees jumped by 10 percent to Sk9 billion.

The banking business is thriving in Slovakia, the daily wrote. The ratio of profit to total revenues (when costs were not taken into consideration) was more than 34 percent for the first nine months. This ratio was about 33 percent in 2006.

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