Austrian group Erste Bank, the owner of 70% of Romanian Commercial Bank-BCR, will be listed at the Bucharest Stock Exchange before the end of the year, according to Austrian media. “By the end of 2007, Erste Bank will be listed at the Bucharest Exchange”, Erste Bank spokesman Ionut Stanimir was quoted as saying by Austrian newspaper WirtshaftsBlatt.

The news comes as the listing in Bucharest has been seen among people involved in Erste operations as a simply theoretical option. Austrian officials have even said that the Bucharest listing was impossible to accomplish as long as minority shareholders still have a say at BCR.

Still, the BCR acquisition contract says the Austrian group will list the Romanian bank within three years since the 2006 takeover. Erste shares are already traded in Vienna and Prague.

According to Q1 2007 financial data presented by Erste several days ago, BCR obtained a net profit of 62 million euro for the period, bringing 44.3 million euro in the coffers of the Austrian group at an overall group profit of 300 million euro.