Croatias Zagrebacka Banka and Bank Austria Creditanstalt, a member of UniCredit Group, are launching the planned integration of the BIH representation offices - UniCredit Zagrebacka Banka and HVB Central Profit Banka - which is to end by the end of 2007. In the course of integration, the banks will resume operation as two separate business units, according to a statement of HVB Central Profit Banka.

In the past 30 days, a local integration structure was formed and will coordinate the future activities. The integration of UniCredit Zagrebacka Banka and HVB Central Profit Banka will yield the leading bank in BIH, which will operate as UniCredit Banka. The new name sets up direct link with UniCredit Group, one of the leading banks in Europe. UniCredit Banka will have strong local roots, at the same time providing its clients opportunities attributive to a leading European banking network.

UniCredit Banka, together with sister bank - Nova Banjalucka Banka, the representation office of UniCredit Group in Republika Srpska, will have BAM 3.256 million in assets, service over 820,000 clients through 180 branch offices with overall market share of 25 per cent.

UniCredit Group is the fifth-biggest bank by market capitalisation in the eurozone, servicing more than 35 million clients in over 7,000 branches. In Central and Eastern Europe, UniCredit Group is by far the biggest banking group, with 65,000 workers who serve 24 million clients in over 3,000 branches in 17 countries. (