Austrias second-largest bank, Erste Bank der oesterreichischen Sparkassen AG, is planning to storm the Ukrainian market. Within the next three years, the bank is to spend EUR 235 million on the opening of 400 branches in the country.

Erste is present on the Ukrainian banking market via its majority-owned Bank Prestige. The Austrian bank hopes the other shareholders would join the network expansion exercise with EUR 118 million of the funds.

Erste finalised the acquisition of a 50.5-per-cent stake in Bank Prestige in July this year on receipt of the approval from the competition authorities and central banks of Austria and Ukraine. The majority stake cost Erste UAH 178.3 million (EUR 27.7 million).

As reported, Erste Bank is to shortly rename the Ukrainian bank to Erste Ukraine. As of April this year, Prestige held the 72nd place among the 164 Ukrainian banks.