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Vilniaus Bankas, Lithuania's largest commercial bank owned by Sweden's SEB, said it did not intend to pay dividends for 2002 but instead would plough its profit back into the business.
"Since September 2000, when we completed the process of acquisition of the three Baltic banks, SEB has never taken any dividends (from the banks). We believe that the best way to use the money is to reinvest it into the banks' development," Mats Kjaer, chairman of the bank's supervisory council said.
The Vilniaus Bankas Group announced an unaudited net profit of 126.5 million litas (36.6 million euros) for 2002, a 32.9 percent rise from 2001. Vilniaus Bankas posted the highest profit among the SEB-owned banks in the three Baltic countries last year.
Julius Niedvaras, chairman of the bank's management board, denied speculations that the bank's 2002 profit came from asset sales. "We made this profit as a result of growing volumes and improved cost management. Yes, we made some profit by the sale of shares in Siauliu Bankas (8.7 million litas), but not hundreds of millions (of litas)," he said.