ZURICH Aug 16 Swiss lender Raiffeisen is open
to making acquisitions in private banking and asset management,
potentially targeting firms handling assets of 20 billion to 30
billion Swiss francs ($22-33 bln), its chief was quoted as
saying on Saturday.
"We are looking at everything that comes onto the market,"
Raiffeisen Chief Executive Pierin Vincenz told Swiss newspaper
Finanz und Wirtschaft.
He said it was easier to grow in the asset management sector
than private banking at the moment, due to uncertainty
surrounding tax issues.
"Additional assets under management of 20 billion to 30
billion Swiss francs are easily conceivable," Vincenz said.
Asked whether the Swiss cooperative lender would consider
buying the international arm of private bank Coutts, owned by
Royal Bank of Scotland, Vincenz said the dossier was
very complex and "not for us".
Royal Bank of Scotland said on Monday it was considering
selling the Coutts international unit, a deal one source said
could net it as much as $1 billion.
The Swiss National Bank said on Wednesday it was adding
Raiffeisen to a list of too-big-to-fail banks that come under
Vincenz gave no further details on the targets Raiffeisen
would have to fulfil as a result of this classification, but
said it was consulting with Swiss financial regulator FINMA.
The rules will not affect the lender's strategy for growth
and business diversification, he said.
($1 = 0.9023 Swiss Francs)
(Reporting by Alice Baghdjian; Editing by Sophie Hares)