PKO BP needs $1.6 bln for Ukraine growth- board chief

18:17, 10 September 2008
Ukraine
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The strategy contains three scenarios

State-controlled Polish bank PKO BP PKOBP.WA will need 4 billion zlotys ($1.6 billion) to finance growth in neighbouring Ukraine, its supervisory board head told Reuters on Wednesday.

Marzena Piszczek said the board discussed the bank`s keenly awaited strategy at its meeting in July and expects the document to be completed by the end of this year as it awaits opinion from the state treasury.

"The strategy contains three scenarios," Piszczek said on the sidelines of a news conference in Tarnow, southern Poland.

"The first involves limited growth, the second focuses on the local market, which will grow in years ahead, and (the third is about) going abroad, but that would require capital expenditure," she added.

Piszczek said she believed PKO, which already controls a Ukrainian lender, Kredobank, will need 4 billion zlotys to finance expansion there, while the "aggressive growth" scenario will require "tens of billions" zlotys.

Treasury ministry officials have repeatedly said PKO, Poland`s largest bank by market value, will have to sell new shares to finance its growth, allowing the government stake in the lender to fall below 50 percent.

Reuters
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