Tatra Banka 1H99 profit down 145 million Sk on 1H98

Tatra Banka, rated Slovakia's best bank for the past five years, raked in over 864 million crowns in gross profit during the first half of this year, a total which is 145 million crowns less than in the same period last year. Bank officials said on September 24 that the drop was due to a decrease in interest rates on the inter-bank market, as well as to lower yields on T-Bills and government bonds. The bank continued investing a major part of its available sources in state securities this year, whose volume climbed 4 billion crowns in six months to about 10 billion crowns

The bank's total assets grew from 45.76 billion crowns at the end of the last year to 48.85 billion crowns, making TB the third largest commercial bank in Slovakia. Primary deposits were 32.7 billion crowns, up 3.8 billion crowns from late December 1998, and giving TB a 6.7% share of the Slovak market. TB also controls about 14.5% of the Slovak market in foreign currency deposits, which have grown in consquence of devaluation expectations connected with the Slovak currency. TB's total claims towards clients were 22.18 billion crowns, giving the bank 11% of total standard loans provided. In the first half of 2000, the bank should begin providing mortgage loans.

Tatra Banka opened five new branches in the first half of 1999, bringing its total Slovak network to 44 branches. In late August, the bank employed over 1,360 people. TB's majority shareholder is the Raiffeisen Banking Group of Austria, which increased its stake from 52% to the current 70.76% through a public takeover bid last November.

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