Croatia's HPB bank posts higher net profit ahead of sale

ZAGREB Thu Feb 7, 2013 9:53am EST

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ZAGREB Feb 7 (Reuters) - Hrvatska Postanka Banka (HPB), Croatia's biggest commercial bank still in state hands, has posted a 5.9 percent rise in yearly net profit to 93.1 million kuna ($166.1 million).

Operating profit rose 18.4 percent to 257.4 million kuna, the bank, set for sale later this year, said in a statement on Thursday.

Croatia chose an adviser for the HPB sale in November, hoping to sell its entire 51.46 percent stake and also ensure a capital boost for the bank, which controls 4.3 percent of the local market.

The sale is also expected to help the government's efforts to consolidate the public finances and lift the economy after four years of recession.

HPB said its assets amounted to 17 billion kuna, while its capital adequacy ratio was 14 percent, above the 12 percent legal requirement.

($1 = 5.6040 Croatian kunas) (Reporting by Igor Ilic; Editing by Zoran Radosavljevic and David Holmes)

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