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The Warsaw Voice » Business » July 28, 2005
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Merger speculation won't stop BPH's expansion
July 28, 2005   
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Poland's third largest bank BPH, a unit of Germany's HVB, is maintaining its plan to build its retail branch network to drive top-line gains and will invest PLN 170 mln into building the network, as planned, BPH's president Jozef Wancer said at a news conference.

"We don't change our strategy," Wancer told reporters. "We uphold our guidance for investments to bring one-time costs to a total of PLN 170 mln, and that the result on these investments should be PLN 340 mln annually from 2007," Wancer said.

Wancer admits only that management is keeping its eye on the map and that the exact plan for 77 new outlets could be changed, but still with revenue maximization in mind.

News that Italy's Unicredito, owner of the more conservative Polish bank Pekao SA, would bid for the Polish HVB unit, has led to speculation that BPH's expansion plans could go on ice.

Under the program, the bank has added 14 new locations through July and has another three in the pipeline.

"We continue with our strategic plan. We haven't eliminated anything," Wancer told the news conference.

"We keep opening new locations although there is a certain shifting of the goal... We will look at the map once again and focus on increasing our revenues and our client count," Wancer added.

According to an earlier statement by bank officials, the bank planned to have 56 of its 77 planned new outlets up and running by year-end with expectations that they can pay for themselves within two-years.
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