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23.11.06

RZB-Rating on the upswing.

RZB receives ''A+'' Long-Term Rating from Standard& Poor’s. ''A-1'' Short-Term Rating Affirmed.

Standard& Poor’s (S&P), the provider of independent credit ratings,assigned its ''A+'' long-term counterparty credit rating with a stableoutlook to Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich AG (RZB). Due to the factthat the ''A+'' is valued higher by the financial markets than the ''A1''long-term rating assigned to RZB by Moody''s, this reflects an upwardtrend. At the same time, S&P affirmed their short-term ''A-1'' rating forRZB.

"The ratings are also based on RZB''s sound financial and risk profile,"said Standard& Poor''s credit analyst Volker von Kruechten."RZB''s assetquality and capitalization should remain at good levels, despite theexpectation of further CEE-driven high business growth in coming years.Concerns about higher earnings volatility in the future due to RZB''sincreasing focus on countries with higher economic and industry risks– particularly in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and in Southeastern Europe (SEE) – are mitigated by the very good regional and business diversification."

"A+ is the best proof for our well balanced growth strategy in Austriaand Central and Eastern Europe," said Walter Rothensteiner, CEO of RZB."Moreover, S&P looks favourably on RZB’s domestic business, expecting us to maintain our stable performance and higher-than-average capital strength."

"S&P’s reviews are considered to be relatively conservative – in this light, the A+ underlines RZB’s credit quality to interested investors,"added Patrick Butler, RZB Board Member responsible for Treasury,Investment Banking and Global Financial Institutions.

Standard& Poor’s is the world''s foremost provider of independent credit ratings, indices, risk evaluation, investment research, data, and valuations.

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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. Viasubsidiary Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG, it operates one ofthe leading banking networks in CEE with subsidiary banks and financeleasing companies in 16 markets. More than11.7 million customers areattended to through more than 2,775 business outlets.

RZB''s balance-sheet total amounted to€ 103.2 billion at 30 June 2006, 10 per cent more than at year-end 2005. Pre-tax profit was up 34 per cent against the first semester 2005 and amounted to € 579.0 million.

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

 

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