UniCredit sees better results in CEE region-report

VIENNA, April 19 Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:24am EDT

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VIENNA, April 19 (Reuters) - UniCredit Bank Austria expects results in central and eastern Europe (CEE) to improve this year as the region's economic growth easily outpaces that of the euro zone, CEE area chief Gianni Papa told an Austrian newspaper.

"Even if the situation is not rosy, we expect better results this year," Der Standard quoted him as saying on Friday when asked how the CEE market would develop in 2013.

The region, in which UniCredit is market leader, contributed 70 percent of group pretax profit in 2012.

Papa said that no acquisitions were in sight but the bank would look at opportunities to buy quality assets. It would focus more or large customers, he said, seeing potential to boost business with German companies active in the region.

The bank does not intend to close any of its 2,800 branches in the region but would restructure them to adjust to customer demand, he added.

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by David Goodman)

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