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Svenska Handelsbanken may stir up Lithuania's banking market

„Scanpix“ nuotr. / Handelsbanken
Šaltinis: BNS

Sweden's banking giant Svenska Handelsbanken, which is bigger in size than SEB or Swedbank and which set foot in Lithuania back in 2008, sees the country as one of its home markets in the future, but plans to expand organically rather than through acquisitions, the business daily Verslo Žinios reports.

"The Netherlands may possibly become one of our home markets in the short term. Lithuania and the other Baltic countries are within the area of our interest as well and I believe that they also have chances of becoming our home markets in the long term. All the more so because the Nordic countries naturally take the Baltic states as their home markets. However, it would be too bold to say that this is going to happen in the next year or two. This has to occur naturally, organically," it quoted Artūras Ungulaitis, the head of Svenska Handelsbanken's Lithuanian branch.

In Lithuania, Svenska Handelsbanken will first serve its customers from the so-called five home markets - Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Britain - Ungulaitis said.

"Our business model is such that internal growth is the most attractive way of expansion. All the more so because the initial investments in the Baltic countries have already been made. I do not think that Lithuania's banking sector is saturated. There is still room," he said.

Svenska Handelsbanken's Vilnius branch currently employs eight people. It had a loan portfolio of 5.501 million litas (EUR 1.6m) and deposits worth 25.3 million litas on 30 June. The branch posted a loss of 1.881 million litas for the first half of this year.

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