Baltic banks booming

  • 2007-09-24
  • From wire reports
 RIGA - Baltic banks earned 714.127 million euros in profit in the first half of 2007, doubling from the previous year, according to latest figures from the Latvian Commercial Bank Association.

Estonian banks made the biggest share of profits, with their earnings making up 42 percent of the total Baltic banking profit. Latvian banks accounted for 36 percent and Lithuanian banks 22 percent.

Latvian banks earned 256.1 million euros in the first half of the year, a 62.8 percent rise compared to a year ago. Estonian banks profited to the tune of 299.6 million euros, while the profits of Lithuanian banks were 158.4 million euros, up 74.6 percent.

The ten most profitable Baltic banks in 2005 include five Latvian banks, three Estonian banks and two Lithuanian banks.

Latvia's Hansabanka was the second largest Baltic bank in the first half of the year with a profit of 71.634 million euros, while SEB Unibanka was the fourth most profitable Baltic bank with 43.093 million euros, followed by Rietumu Banka ranking seventh with 25.696 million euros earned and Parex Bank eighth with 23.526 million euros in profit. Latvia's Aizkraukles Banka ranked ninth with its first half profit worth 21.298 million euros.

Estonia's Hansapank showed the highest banking profit in the Baltics -  228.995 million euros, followed by its Latvian counterpart Hansabanka on 71.634 million euros. Lithuania's SEB Vilniaus Bankas was placed third with 63.822 million euros in profits.

At the end of June there were 24 banks in Latvia, 14 in Estonia and 13 in Lithuania.