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08.06.07

RZB wins Financial Times Sustainable Banking Award.

RZB awarded for its achievements in carbon finance.

On Thursday night, Vienna-based Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich AG(RZB) was awarded the"FT Sustainable Banking Award for Carbon Finance"in London. This award recognises groundbreaking initiatives andtransactions in the area of carbon finance. The 2007 FT SustainableAwards have received 151 entries from more than 100 banks in 51countries. The Award for Carbon Finance was handed out for the firsttime.

"For more than 140 years, the Raiffeisen Group has shown an excellenttrack record in sustainability", said Walter Rothensteiner, CEO of RZB."RZB is one of Austria''s leading providers of carbon finance, whichreflects our attitude to combine business ethics with economic success.This award encourages us all the more not only to continue on our coursebut even to push our efforts in the future."

RZB financed the first worldwide nitrous oxide (N2O) emission reductionproject under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC) at a nitric acid plant in Abu Qir (Egypt). It is also the firstClean Development Mechanism (CDM) project in the Arab Republic of Egyptand the largest Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction project in Africa.

FT UK Business Editor and chairman of the jury John Willman commented onthe reasons for the jury''s choice:"This project, which is outstandingby both effectiveness and dimension, will serve as an internationalbenchmark. We expect that nitrous oxide-emitters and banks will followRZB''s example. Austrian know-how helps reducing the emission of the mostdangerous of all greenhouse gases significantly.

The jury considered Abu Qir as proof that a project can both beeconomically successful and be executed in an ecological and sociallyresponsible manner. In 2007 alone, RZB finances three other comparableprojects in South Korea.

The winning project at a glance

A new tail gas treatment unit was implemented and commissioned in theAbu Qir Fertilizer Company''s nitric acid plants in September 2006. Morethan 99 per cent of N2O will be abated. The N2O abatement corresponds toan annual CO2 reduction of over 1.2 million tonnes. This amount will beconverted into Carbon Emission Reduction certificates (CERs) reservedfor carbon neutrality trading. For the first time in such a project,cash flow for the repayment instalments will be solely generated throughthe sale of emission certificates. N2O is among the most dangerousgreenhouse-gases with one kilogram corresponding to 300 kilograms of CO2.

The Austrian project developer, Carbon Projektentwicklung GmbH, and theproject operator voluntarily agreed on donating a three per cent shareof the total income from selling of the CERs to a social fund. This fundshall contribute to the social benefit of the people living in the areaof Abu Qir by financing sustainable projects in schools, hospitals andinfrastructure.

About the FT Sustainable Banking Awards

The FT Sustainable Banking Awards, created by the Financial Times andthe International Finance Corporation (IFC), recognise banks that haveshown leadership and innovation in integrating social, environmental andcorporate governance objectives into their operations.

This year''s judging panel was co-chaired by senior representatives ofthe FT and IFC, and included leading figures involved in sustainablefinance and development such as John Willman, UK Business EditorFinancial Times, Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President and CEO of theIFC, Paul Clements-Hunt, United Nations Environment Program FinanceInitiative (UNEP-FI), Paul Grimes, Chief Operating Officer of the FTSEGroup, Sergio Rosa, Chief Executive Officer at PREVI, and Tessa Tennantof the Association for Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia.

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Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich AG (RZB) is the central institution ofthe Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, the country''s largest bankinggroup. It is a leading corporate and investment bank in Austria and alsoconsiders Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as its home market. RZB isthe only Austrian bank with a global network of business units reachingall important finance centres around the globe. It is also present inAsia via its branches and representative offices.

Via its listed subsidiary Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG, RZBoperates one of the leading banking networks in CEE. 18 markets arecovered by subsidiary banks, finance leasing companies and tworepresentative offices. Approximately 12.5 million customers areattended to through over 2,900 business outlets.

For further information please contact Andreas Ecker-Nakamura (+43-1-71707-1753,andreas.ecker@rzb.at)or Gregor Bitschnau (+43-1-71 707-1955,gregor.bitschnau@rzb.at).

http://www.rzb.at

 

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