BANKING

Eurobank lands Serb lender

eurobank-lands-serb-lender

Eurobank is proceeding with the takeover of Serbian lender Direktna Banka, strengthening its position in the market where it is already present through Eurobank AD Beograd.

The takeover forms part of Eurobank’s strategy for the expansion of its presence abroad, as its network in other countries is a key source of profits for the Greek group.

While updating investors on Eurobank’s first-quarter results, group chief executive Fokion Karavias had pointed out that the expansion of the company abroad was due, noting that “the group will continue its growth, while also examining the prospect of acquisitions, as we did twice in the past in the Bulgarian market.”

Direktna is a small lender in the Serbian market, but its incorporation in the local activity of Eurobank’s subsidiary will take the Greek group’s market share up to seventh in the pecking order, from 10th, where it stands at the moment.

The formal announcement of the takeover is expected on Thursday. Eurobank AD Beograd has a commanding position among foreign investors and credit institutions in Serbia; it has 1,200 staff, 80 branches and 500,000 clients.