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23.04.07

Moody’s lifts RZB rating to ’Aa2’.

Long-term rating raised by two notches. Deep rootedness in Austria oneof the deciding factors.

On Friday Moody''s Investor Services released their review of Austrianbanks. RZB''s long-term rating was upgraded two notches to ''Aa2'' from''A1'', the outlook remains stable. The Financial Strength Rating (FSR)was ''C+'' and is ''C'' now. RZB''s short-term rating remains at ''P-1''.

RZB was reviewed on the basis of Moody''s new Joint Default Analysis(JDA) approach for the first time. Compared to Moody''s former ratingmodel, this approach attaches more importance to external factors andreassesses their significance for the FSR. Therefore, the modificationof the FSR is determined by the new rating approach. Moody''s commentedthat RZB''s Aa2/P-1 ratings of RZB reflect its central position withinthe Raiffeisen Banking Group, the largest banking group in the Austrianmarket with consolidated assets of more than 205 billion Euro anddominant market shares of 27.8 per cent of total deposits, 23.4 per centof loans and 29.0 per cent of securities funds as at December 2006.

"Despite of far reaching changes in its rating model, Moody''s confirmedRZB''s successful path. Our market position in Austria as well as inCentral and Eastern Europe is quite strong, the EU accounts for morethan 60 per cent of our assets", said Walter Rothensteiner, CEO of RZB.Last year, Standard& Poor''s rated RZB ''A+''. As S&P is following a moreconservative rating approach its ''A+'' was already noticed as upgradeagainst Moody’s ''A1''.

"We are delighted with the double-A assignment by Moody’s", said PatrickButler, RZB board member for Treasury and Investment Banking."Itreflects RZB''s rooting in a rock-solid and secure market environment.Thinking of RZB''s sound risk and earnings profile, I consider this stepas long overdue. However, it underpins our claim to be a top-notchborrower, deservedly ranking among the top-100 institutions worldwide."

RZB''s 2006 results according to IFRS at a glance

Compared to 2005, RZB''s total assets rose by 23 per cent to 115.6billion euros. RZB’s own funds ratio is 10.8 per cent. Profit before tax was 1.882 billion euros, after 930 million euros in 2005. This includes a one-off effect in the amount of 596 million euros. The cost/income ratio improved by 2.2 percentage points to 56.7 per cent. The return on equity rose from 23.9 per cent in 2005 to 26.7 per cent in 2006 (39.1 per cent including the one-off effect).

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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. More than 12 million customers are attended tothrough over 2,850 business outlets.

For further information please contact Andreas Ecker-Nakamura (+43-1-71707-1753, andreas.ecker@rzb.at) or Wilfried Peter Stockl (+43-1-71707-1959, wilfried.stoeckl@rzb.at).http://www.rzb.at, http://www.ri.co.at

 

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