Snoras' Austrian ambitions put on indefinite hold

  • 2005-08-24
  • Baltic News Service
VILNIUS - The Parliament of Austria's federal state of Burgenland has postponed the planned sale of Bank Burgenland until the autumn and asked the national court of auditors to look into the bank's tender.

Unofficial sources have said that Snoras, a Lithuanian bank with Russian capital, has not yet submitted an application to participate in the tender.

Yet the Austrian press has reported that Snoras offered to pay 115 million litas for Bank Burgenland.

Bank representatives said they were only discussing the possibility.

Snoras, which is controlled by Russia's Konversbank, is currently in talks to acquire a bank in the neighboring country. It opened a representative office in Latvia in July.

"We are making headway in these negotiations and should be able to inform you about the results in a month's time," said Naglis Stancikas, deputy chairman of Snoras' management board.

Snoras is also in talks to buy a controlling stake in Universal Bank in Cyprus and plans to establish offices in Estonia and Belgium by the end of this year.

The bank said its net profit for the first seven months of this year reached 24.3 million litas (7 million euros), double what it was in the same period a year ago. It is targeting an annual profit of 40 million litas.