Parex buys Swiss bank, opens Estonian branch

  • 2004-03-18
  • Baltic News Service
RIGA - Parex Bank, Latvia's largest financial institution in terms of assets, scored two major expansion successes over the past week, as bank officials announced they had bought a Swiss bank and had received a license to establish a branch in Estonia.

Speaking to reporters March 15, bank President Valery Kargin said that Anlage & Privatbank is now a 100 percent-owned subsidiary of Parex. He declined to disclose the purchase price.
He explained that Parex had been looking for a bank to buy for the last four years, and that bank officials had spent a year on negotiating a deal on Anlage & Privatbank, which was chartered in 1995.
Eriks Brivmanis, bank vice president for finance, said that the Swiss bank was bought not on the basis of its financial strength but as a "door" to the lucrative Swiss banking market.
Using the experience of Anlage & Privatbank, Parex Bank will further develop trade financing, asset management and large corporate client management services both in Latvia and abroad, Kargin said.
"The bank expects that Baltic and international clients will use our Swiss subsidiary for generating long-term savings, investments, trust operations and asset management," said Kargins, adding that a number of experienced staff members from Riga headquarters would be transferred to Switzerland.
Also, last week the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority announced it had issued a license to Parex Bank to open a branch in Estonia.
Loit Linnupold, head of Parex's Estonian operations, said, "We can say with confidence today that there is still room for newcomers on the Estonian banking market. When Nordea Bank arrived on the Estonian market many people thought there would be no place in Estonia for a fourth player. It is clear to everyone today that those people were wrong," he said.