Erste Group was founded in 1819 as the first Austrian savings bank. Now around 47,000 employees are serving 16.6 million clients in more than 2,800 branches in 7 countries. Erste Group is one of the largest financial services providers in Central and Eastern Europe.
“We feel comfortable with our capital position so we decided to propose a dividend of EUR 0.40 per share for 2012. Erste Group is targeting a stable operating result for 2013. Overall, we are slightly positive that the risk situation will be somewhat better than in 2012. We expect improvements in 2013 in all our markets, especially in Romania and Hungary. I believe that 2013, 2014 and 2015 will show very clearly that, with very few exceptions, the CEE economies will do substantially better than Western Europe. We will see more FDI flowing into the region due to the advantageous labor costs, improved infrastructure, substantially lower taxation and unemployment coming down."
"The Czech economy has very good fundamentals. The country is one of the least indebted in the region, the government made a lot of efforts on the reform side. Even though we currently see a slowdown in domestic demand which leads to a decline in Q3 GDP growth, we think this is a cyclical phenomenon and the core fundamentals remain strong. The Czech Eurobonds offer a very nice yield compared to bunds, as the Czech Republic is considered a safe haven. The CEE region, while not homogenous, has much higher returns on investment than EU15 countries."
“Our results are a demonstration of the fact that CEE is doing quite a bit better than Western Europe. In these times the strengths of CEE come into play: The fact that these countries are substantially less indebted than Western Europe, banking services are at lower levels, the social systems are not that overloaded, taxation is lower and the region is getting even more attractive for industrial investors. We don't have to change our strategy. We put all our resources into one part of Europe that we believe over the next 50 years will outgrow the rest of Europe in every aspect.“
“With very few exceptions, the worst is over”, says Andreas Treichl, CEO of Erste Group in an interview for Bloomberg TV. “We see positive signs in countries where the state, the banks and the people are in a good liquidity situation.” Regarding a European banking union Treichl believes there is the need for talks about the most difficult aspect: “To get the countries to give up their authority over their banking system and transfer it to Brussels.”
“Austria is in a much better shape compared to other Eurozone countries thanks to its strong ties with CEE, Europe’s only growing region”, believes Fritz Mostböck, Head of Group Research at Erste Group.
emphasizes Erste’s aim to finance its clients’ business from client deposits and Erste’s own equity, regardless the developments on the financial markets. As for the troubles in Europe, a solution might be to free up the banking sector from the problematic bonds of the indebted countries
sees the growth slowing in some of the CEE countries over the next year as austerity measures are still in place and bank deposits are growing. However, it is the fate of a customer bank that it depends on its clients' well-being and the environment in which they live.
Ingo Bleier, Head of Group Investment Banking at Erste Group, speaks in an interview with the Polish daily Parkiet about the equity markets in Central and Eastern Europe and investment banking activity across the region.
18.05.2012: Franz Hochstrasser, Deputy CEO of Erste Group responsible for capital markets, in an interview with Börse Express about equity and debt capital markets, concerns around the euro and LTRO III: ’’Essentially, Erste Group will invest into government bonds on our domestic markets and nothing else.’’
In an interview for the Czech daily Lidové noviny, Erste Group CEO Andreas Treichl explains that Erste Group is an institution with a long-term vision aiming to be the bank in the region between Germany and Russia. This is considered though as a long-term project.
"We're pleased about our operating performance, we're very displeased about banking taxation, but on a net basis we're still ahead of last year and that's very good," Andreas Treichl, CEO of Erste Group told CNBC upon commenting the bank's Q1 results.