Investing in Erste Group Bank AG

Bernd Spalt, CEO of Erste Group Bank AG on the YE 2019 results:
"Our annual operating result of nearly 3 billion euros, which is a significant increase of 8.7 percent, proves Erste is really fit at its core. This is quite rare in European banking at the moment – and gives us a strong foundation for future growth." 

“Thanks to our footprint, we’re active in the economically most dynamic region in Europe, with CEE countries posting GDP growth more than twice as high as the Eurozone average. Importantly, this growth is mostly generated by domestic demand, thanks to low unemployment rates and rising real wages. Given the region’s resilient growth path, the scale of our franchise and the strength of our brand, we were able to achieve a 7 percent increase in both deposit and loan volumes. Our operating income rose twice as fast as costs, with advances across all revenue streams.

The continued benign risk environment contributed to a further improvement in the NPL ratio to 2.5 percent, reflecting the fundamental health of our assets.

We are satisfied with our liquidity position, as we are with our capital: our common equity tier one capital ratio stands at 13.7 percent, comfortably above regulatory requirements.

We would like to share our good result in 2019 with our shareholders and will therefore propose increasing the dividend to 1.50 euro per share at the annual general meeting.”

Founded in 1819 as the first Austrian savings bank, Erste Group went public in 1997 with a strategy to expand its retail business into Central and Eastern Europe. Since then Erste Group has grown through numerous acquisitions and organically to become one of the largest financial services providers in the Eastern part of the EU in terms of clients and total assets.