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Erste’s Serbian Unit May Consider Buying Hypo Alpe Subsidiary

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Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Erste Group Bank AG’s Serbian unit may consider buying the domestic business of Austria’s Hypo Alpe-Adria International AG if offered for sale separately.

Hypo Alpe, the third-biggest lender in the former Yugoslav nations, yesterday asked investors to submit initial bids for its units in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.

“We would be interested to look at Hypo in Serbia if it was offered for sale separately,” Slavko Caric, chief executive officer of the Novi Sad, Serbia-based Erste Banka AD, told reporters in Belgrade today.

Hypo Alpe in Serbia was the sixth-biggest bank by assets at the end of June with a 6 percent market share, according to central bank data. Erste ranked 12th with a 3.4 percent market share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gordana Filipovic in Belgrade at gfilipovic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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