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Austria's Erste Bank back in black

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Photo: Erste Bank/Fischka
11:11 CET+01:00
Austrian lender Erste Bank reported a healthy return to profit in 2015 on Friday and expressed confidence about conditions in central and eastern Europe where it has a major presence.

Net income was €968 million ($1.1 billion), up from a hefty loss of €1.4 billion in 2014 when the bank, active in seven countries with 15.8 million customers, booked major writedowns.

In 2016, operating conditions are expected to be "conducive to credit expansion", with economic growth of 1.5 - 3.8 percent in all major markets thanks to "solid domestic demand," Erste said.

The better-than-expected results for 2015 helped boost the bank's shares up 3.1 percent in Vienna late on Friday morning.

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