In his speech, President and CEO of OTP Sándor Csányi emphasised that OTP Bank appeared on the Serbian market ten years ago when it purchased Niska Banka (Nisi Bank), and is planning on acquiring other bank branches with which it can rise to become one of the largest banks in Serbia.
Mr. Csányi also told the locals about the bank, explaining that OTP was the only independent bank in Central and Eastern Europe, an autonomous bank that had not been acquired by large foreign financial institutions, in addition to which it boasts exceptional capital strength and major liquidity reserves. OTP is present in nine countries, has over 1300 branches and provides services to 12 million clients.
The bank practices a conservative and cautious business policy, but at the same time is developing dynamically and has always been a frontrunner with regard to new financial services and the application of financial technologies, for instance OTP was the first to introduce mobile phone services in Serbia, he continued.
Mr. Csányi highlighted the fact that good Hungarian-Serbian economic relations facilitate the economic development of both countries and continued good cooperation is expected in view of the fact that the signs of Serbian economic development and growth are already visible.
Prime Minister Orbán said with relation to this that amongst others the members of the Hungarian Government had arrived in Southern Serbia to convince Hungarian enterprises that it was also worth searching for investment opportunities south of Belgrade. The Hungarian-Serbian business forum was attended by over 90 Hungarian businesspeople, who were encouraged by the two prime ministers to think not only in terms of Belgrade-Budapest and Vojvodina-Budapest links, but in terms of the whole Serbian economy.
“The opening of the new OTP headquarters in Niš is proof that Serbia welcomes Hungarian investors, and Hungary supports these kinds of investments”, the Prime Minister added. “The opening of the branch is a symbolic moment that is testament to our economic policy of encouraging close cooperation”, Mr. Orbán continued.
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić expressed his hope that the Niš investment would be profitable for both parties.
OTP Bank regards Serbia as a significant target market. According to preliminary reports, the total cost of the new regional headquarters was some half a million euros.
Hungarian-Serbian trade flow reached some 1-7 billion euros in 2014 and increased to 1.8 billion euros in 2015. Further year-on-year growth of 5 percent was recorded during the first eight months of this year and trade flow is soon expected to reach two billion euros. Hungary is the fifth largest investor in Serbia. Hungarian oil company MOL is the second most important participant on the Serbian fuel market and pharmaceuticals company Richter is also continuously increasing its share of the market.