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UniCredit May Put Hungary Expansion on Ice, Papa Tells WiBlatt

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Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- UniCredit SpA, eastern Europe’s biggest bank, may put its planned branch expansion in Hungary on ice, the lender’s regional head Gianni Papa was quoted as saying in Austrian newspaper WirtschaftsBlatt.

The Hungarian government’s plan to allow repayment of foreign-currency mortgages at rates below market levels had come as a “shock,” Papa told WirtschaftsBlatt. UniCredit has about 765 million euros ($1 billion) in foreign-currency loans outstanding in Hungary and may make a loss in the “low double-digit” million-euro range because of the law, he told the Vienna-based newspaper.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Boris Groendahl in Vienna at bgroendahl@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net