VIENNA, March 29 Austria's Erste Group Bank
said risk provisions should fall sharply this year at
its Romanian unit, which it expects to return to profit after a
"Following the peak in risk provisions in 2012, a
significant reduction is planned for 2013," the bank, one of the
leading lenders in Europe's emerging economies, said in its
annual report published late on Friday.
Erste added that it had no sovereign or bank exposure to
Cyprus, and no payment risk from its 60 million euros ($77
million) in corporate credits, since all the related repayments
originated from outside Cyprus.
The Mediterranean country averted bankruptcy with a
last-ditch bailout agreement with the European Union this week.
Banks there were closed for nearly two weeks to prevent a run
and restrictions have been imposed on transactions to avert a
flight of capital.
Erste said it had 333 million euros in net exposure to the
sovereign in Slovenia - where borrowing costs have soared due to
fears it will be the next euro zone country to need a rescue -
and 21 million to Slovenian banks as of Dec. 31.
Erste added that it had reduced its exposure to Slovenia by
94 million euros from a year earlier.
($1 = 0.7788 Euro)
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan,editing by G Crosse)