VIENNA Dec 20 EMBARGO 1400 CET/1300 GMT
Central and eastern Europe-focused lender Raiffeisen Bank
International will press ahead with the planned
listing of part of its Polish unit and then assess its options,
its designated chief executive said on Tuesday.
Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) had been in exclusive
talks with Poland's Alior Bank about selling its
Polish unit but Alior pulled out this month. RBI is required to
list at least 15 percent of the unit in Warsaw by the end of
"We have to close this IPO (initial public offering) chapter
successfully. The sooner the better," said Johann Strobl, whom
RBI and its parent company Raiffeisen Zentralbank have
chosen to lead them after their planned merger.
Speaking to reporters, Strobl would not be drawn on options
beyond that IPO but said that given the current price levels of
banks in Poland it was unlikely RBI would list more than 15
percent of its unit there, Raiffeisen Polbank.
It is also important that Polbank bring its cost-income
ratio down from its current level above 70 percent to within a
target range of 50-55 percent, Strobl said, adding that he
believed that could be achieved within two years and would
involve a large round of job cuts.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy and Alexandra Schwarz-Goerlich,
editing by Louise Heavens)