National Bank of Greece Eyes 35% Annual Growth in SEE in Next Three Yrs

(Source – SEE News) The National Bank of Greece (NBG) targets to achieve an annual growth rate of 35% in southeast Europe over the next three years seeking to become a leading regional bank, the bank's deputy CEO Ioannis Pehlivanidis said on Tuesday.

"We are looking to grow in assets and in profits in the southeastern European area at a pace of 35% annual growth over the next three years," Pehlivanidis told reporters. "That will take us to a position where the contribution of profits coming outside Greece will be approaching the 50% level."

NBG, which is majority owner of the third-largest Bulgarian bank by assets, United Bulgarian Bank (UBB), bought into Serbia and Turkey last year. It is also active in Romania, FYROM and Albania.

"We are aspiring to become a leading regional bank in the area," Pehlivanidis added.

NBG's southeast European units had a combined net profit of 108 million euro ($144.1 million) in 2006, up 47% on the year. The group's net profit was up 36% to 990 million euro last year.

NBG's lending in southeast Europe expanded by 44% to 3.1 billion euro last year. NBG has 520 branches in the region, almost the same size as its network in Greece.