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Poland’s largest lender PKO BP (PKO.WA) is actively seeking out M&A opportunities, the bank’s management board vice president Pawel Gruza said during a conference call with investors and journalists on Thursday.

“We will actively monitor the market situation regarding realistic acquisition opportunities in order to build our additional competencies,” he said, adding that it would take too much time to expand through the bank’s existing operations.

On the same call, CFO Bartosz Drabikowski said that the bank aims to maintain its dividend policy.

“Of course, the priority is our stakeholder, our investor, so we will protect elements like dividends,” he said, adding that he sees the potential for the company’s return on equity (ROE) to be larger than the previously indicated 12% over its 2023-2025 strategy horizon.

“We can imagine that…ROE may even have a ‘2’ in front – of course it depends on the assumptions, conditions,” he said.

Drabikowski also suggested the company could buy back some of its shares.

“Looking at the situation on the stock exchange, it seems that the buy back of shares may also be a very interesting result for some of our shareholders,” he said.

Regarding the amount of Swiss franc denominated loans on the bank’s books by the end of the strategy period, the vice president for risk management Piotr Mazur said that he hopes it will be zero.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Maria Gieldon and Patrycja Zaras in Gdansk; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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