VIENNA Aug 21 Combat in eastern Ukraine could
force Raiffeisen Bank International to increase its
extra provisioning costs for the crisis in that country from 250
million euros ($331.7 million) this year, officials told
analysts on Thursday.
The Austrian lender booked half of the extra costs for
Ukraine -- mainly driven by depreciation of the local currency
-- in the first six months of the year, Chief Risk Officer
Johann Strobl said.
"The other negative impact that we have to expect from
fighting in the eastern part of Ukraine is very, very difficult
to assess. It is too early, but these numbers are not included
yet," he said.
The Kiev government is trying to put down a revolt by
pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
RBI, emerging Europe's number-two lender, said earlier its
credit exposure in eastern Ukraine was around 470 million euros
at the end of June, of which around 140 million was already
covered by provisions.
It has 80 branches in the Donestsk and Lugansk regions and
determines day by day which to open.
Its total group credit exposure in Ukraine, where it is a
top five bank with nearly 3 million customers, was 3.4 billion
euros net of provisions at the end of June.
(1 US dollar = 0.7537 euro)
(Reporting by Michael Shields; editing by Jane Baird)