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Zachodni Jumps as Deutsche Bank Upgrades Polish Lender

Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Bank Zachodni WBK SA, Poland’s third-largest lender and a unit of Banco Santander SA, rose to a two-week high after Deutsche Bank AG recommended buying its shares, citing improved earnings prospects after a merger with Kredyt Bank SA.

The stock climbed 3.1 percent to 270 zloty at the 5:30 p.m. close in Warsaw, extending this year’s gain to 12 percent and valuing the bank at 25.3 billion zloty ($8.2 billion). Shares traded were 36 percent of the three-month daily average, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Santander merged Zachodni with its Warsaw-based unit Kredyt Bank last month as Spain’s biggest bank expands in central Europe’s biggest economy to help diversify its business. Santander bought Kredyt Bank from KBC Group NV in 2012, a year after completing a purchase of a majority stake in Zachodni from Allied Irish Banks Plc.

“With the legal merger done and more details on Kredyt Bank incorporation, we upgrade the stock as a result of convincing earnings growth due to synergy execution and macro improvement,” Marcin Jablczynski, a Warsaw-based analyst at Deutsche Bank said in a research note today.

Deutsche Bank raised its recommendation for Zachodni from hold and increased its share-price estimate to 320 zloty from 270 zloty.

To contact the reporter on this story: Piotr Bujnicki in Warsaw at pbujnicki@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at wmoskwa@bloomberg.net

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