The result is roughly fivefold higher than a year earlier, the growth being driven mainly by the sale of stake in Asiban.

The French-based insurer, Groupama paid last year about 350 mln euros to the four banking giants – CEC, BCR, BRD-SocGen and Banca Transilvania – to pick up the control over Asiban. Each bank received 87.5 mln euros and included the amount in 3Q financial report.

As compared to the largest bank in Romania, BCR reported a 119.8% increase in net profit after taxes and minority interests, up to 2.03 bln lei (541 mln euros), from 924.8 mln lei (276.5 mln euros) in 2007.

Remaining under state management after the abortion of privatization process in December 2005, CEC Bank reported a 25% advance of bank’s total assets, up to 13.6 bln lei (3.7 bln euros).

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The bank posted a pre-tax profit of 164 mln lei (44.5 mln euros) last year, up 80% from a year earlier.

The banks solvency ratio stood at 16.89% last year.

In December 2008 – February 2009 interval, the bank continued its lending activity at supported pace, especially in SME, agriculture, local public administration. Thus, in the analyzed period, the loans granted to legal persons rose by 537 mln lei (up 20%), the usage volume of loan facilities amounting to roughly 1,700 lei.

“We have approximately 29% loans to small and medium sized companies, 4% to companies, and 3% to public administration”, said the CEO of the bank, Radu Gratian Ghetea.