Intesa CEO: Hungary has turned into a "nightmare", could cut presence

MILAN, March 12 Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:40am EDT

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MILAN, March 12 (Reuters) - The CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo said on Tuesday Italy's biggest retail bank could cut its presence in Hungary, which he said had turned into a "nightmare" for the financial services sector.

"Hungary as you know used to be very good for financial services, it has now turned into a sort of nightmare," Enrico Cucchiani told analysts in a conference call on results.

Intesa's Hungarian unit lost 279 million euros in the fourth quarter, the bank said earlier in a presentation, mostly due to higher loan loss provisions.

"We made a very significant acknowledgment of the situation in the fourth quarter, it continues to be a challenging environment, we have plans in place to restructure operations rather agressively," he said. "We sent a team there and could reduce our presence."

Later in the conference call he added: "I am happy with the language I am using about Hungary and I stick to that....everyone is pretty concerned about Hungary." (Reporting By Silvia Aloisi)

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