Austria's Erste Bank reported on Friday a third-quarter loss of 1.49 billion euros ($2.11 billion) and said it needed to raise up to 750 million euros in fresh capital to meet new EU requirements.
As announced on October 10, Austria's biggest listed bank booked huge one-off charges in the quarter on eurozone sovereign debt, on the value of its Hungarian and Romanian operations and for more risk provisions for Hungary.
But thanks to its main banking operations being profitable it expects to claw back some of the losses and end the year 700-800 million euros in the red, Erste said. Its nine-months loss was 973 million euros.
Without the extraordinary charges, the bank, one of the largest retail and corporate lenders in central and eastern Europe with 17 million customers in 10 countries, would have booked a net profit of about 850-950 million euros.
Erste's boss Andreas Treichl told an analysts' conference meanwhile the bank had to raise up to 750 million euros in order to comply with new European Union capital adequacy rules, but that the bank had a number of options available.
Under a deal struck by EU leaders in this week's crunch summit in Brussels, banks must have a so-called "Tier One" capital ratio -- a closely watched benchmark of financial solidity -- of 9.0 percent by mid-2012.
Previously Erste had said its shortfall was only 54 million euros, with Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter having said the country's lenders needed to raise some 2.9 billion euros.
Among the country's other main lenders, Raiffeisen International has said it needs 1.9 billion euros and Volksbank (OeVAG) 972 million euros.