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Ceska Sporitelna First-Half Net Rises as Economy Rebounds

Ceska Sporitelna AS, the Czech unit of Erste Bank AG, said first-half profit rose 23.7 percent as the local economy revived following an economic crisis.

Net income for six months ended June 30 was 7.21 billion koruna ($426.5 million), compared with 5.83 billion koruna a year earlier, the Prague-based lender said in an e-mailed statement. Net interest income rose 3.1 percent to 15.4 billion koruna.

The results show the “gradual recovery of the Czech economy from the crisis,” Chief Executive Officer Pavel Kysilka said in the statement. Some parts of corporate business are “rapidly” growing because of foreign demand, while retail finance remains subdued, he said.

International banks including Erste Group Bank AG (EBS) and Unicredit SpA are betting that lending in the former communist- bloc countries will return to growth and drive profits again.

The Czech Republic didn’t have to bail out any banks during the global financial crisis as their exposure to toxic assets accounted for less than 1 percent of all assets, banks had a liquidity surplus and deposits exceeded loans, Czech central bank said in March.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lenka Ponikelska in Prague

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at

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