RZB boss denies VBI takeover aim

Raiffeisenzentralbank (RZB) chief Walter Rothensteiner has ruled out being interested in the acquisition of two struggling competitors.Rothensteiner told the Kurier newspaper today (Mon) that RZB had no intentions to approach Hypo Group Alpe Adria (HGAA) and Volksbank AG (ÖVAG about a takeover or a cooperation.The banker argued there would be “no sense” in acquiring HGAA which was nationalised in 2009 due to serious financial difficulties in 2009. Rothensteiner added RZB was represented in all countries where ÖVAG’s international operations department VBI was active. He claimed a takeover may trigger difficulties regarding cartel rights. He added: “Why should I purchase a network if I have already got one?”The RZB chief’s statements come days after Bank Austria (BA) CEO Willibald Cernko revealed BA’s interest in HGAA. “We are talking about 60,000 customers here. It would be highly ignorant not to consider this,” Cernko said.BA, RZB and Erste Bank are the leading financial institutes in Austria. Every tenth Euro generated in the country can be attributed to RZB which is, with around 63,000 staff, the biggest private employer in the country. There are 2,200 RZB branches in Austria. The bank’s international activities are managed by Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI).