The profitability of the capital advanced from 27.59 percent in 2007 to 43.96 percent in 2008.

Banca Italo Romena targets to continue its expansion strategy this year through two units in Bucharest and Timisoara and also to open the new headquarters in the Romanian capital, said the bank's GM, Antonio Bianchin.

The lender granted loans of 932.2 million euros at the end of 2008, up 37.8 percent over the end of 2007, when credits stood near 676.7 million euros. About 91.63 percent of the credits were offered in euro, most of them being granted on the corporate segment.

The bank opened six units last year, in Baia Mare, Pitesti, Ploiesti, Suceava, Galati and Bucharest, reaching 20 offices. The number of employees hiked to 280 in 2008, from 196.