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14.07.06

RZB Group is Best Bank in Austria and CEE.

For the second consecutive time the renowned British financial magazineEuromoney has named Vienna-based Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich AG(RZB) as Best Bank in Austria and together with its CEE-subsidiaryRaiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG as Best Bank in Central andEastern Europe (CEE).

Euromoney explained the decision among others by stating that RZB haddoubled its market share in the wholesale business in Austria overrecent years. Walter Rothensteiner, CEO of RZB, said:This award underlines once more RZBs good strategic approach. We are growing even in the saturated Austrian banking market. We have increased RZBs market share, based on the cumulated total assets of all banks in Austria, from 10.4 to 13 per cent in the last business year. Receiving the Best Bank award for our two home markets in Austria and CEE is even more delightful. RZB is the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking group, the largest banking group in the Austria.

Receiving the Best Bank in CEE award Herbert Stepic, CEO of RaiffeisenInternational, said:"We consider this prestigious award as recognitionof our strategy and our pioneering role in CEE. Both is underlined withour two latest acquisitions, Bank Aval in Ukraine and Impexbank inRussia. As a result Raiffeisen is the largest Western bank in the CIS."In addition, Raiffeisen International also receivedBest Bank country awards for its network banks in Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Serbia as well as in Ukraine. Furthermore, the network bank in Bulgaria was awarded Best Debt House in the country.

Euromoney said that Raiffeisen Internationals strategy of being a pioneer in markets where many fear to tread has already proved fruitful. The"Euromoney Awards for Excellence" are decided by themagazine''s editors.Raiffeisen?s success in claiming the award for the second year running is largely attributable to its leadership of the continued thrust eastwards, Euromoney added. Raiffeisen International and RZB received the Best Bank in CEE award from Euromoney in 1999 and 2005.

Best Bank in Austria

Raiffeisen International''s major shareholder, RZB, received the awardfor the Best Bank in Austria from Euromoney for the second consecutivetime. RZB, the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen BankingGroup, has displayed dynamic growth in assets and profitability. ForKarl Sevelda, RZB Managing Board Member for Austrian and internationalcorporate customers, this award affirms RZBs quality approach: Our success, which is mainly attributed to customer satisfaction, builds on a stringent approach to quality. The quality of our products is highly valued by our clients. High customer satisfaction figures and growing market shares prove this. This award underlines the fact, that our strategy is right.

Best Bank in Albania

Raiffeisen Bank Sh.A. was awarded the title Best Bank in Albania againas in 2005. It was acquired by Raiffeisen International in 2004 and isby far the largest bank in the country with 44 per cent of all deposits.

Best Bank in Belarus

Priorbank JSC was awarded the title Best Bank in Belarus for the secondyear running. Priorbank joined the Raiffeisen International Group in2003 and is the countrys third largest bank. It provides modern retail banking services and is the market leader in the local credit card market.

Best Bank in Bosnia and Hercegovina

Raiffeisen Bank d.d. Bosna i Hercegovina was awarded the title Best Bankin Bosnia and Hercegovina. It has been growing very fast in the pastyear with a 25 per cent increase in retail loans and SME lending up by30 per cent.

Best Bank in Serbia

Raiffeisenbank a.d. only commenced operations only in 2001 and has nowbeen decorated with the Best Bank in Serbia award for the fifthconsecutive year. It is the largest bank in the country in terms ofassets and the market leader in deposits and loan volumes. Its assetsgrew by 61 per cent in 2005.

Best Bank in Ukraine

JSPP Bank Aval was awarded the title Best Bank in Ukraine. Bank Aval wasacquired by Raiffeisen International in 2005. It is the leading retailbank in the country with a branch network of more than 1,373 outlets andserving more than 3 million customers.

Best Debt house in Bulgaria

Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD was awarded the title Best Debt house inBulgaria. Raiffeisenbank is the undisputed leader in terms of totalnumber of newly issued corporate and mortgage bonds (41 per cent marketshare) and in terms of the total volume of locally issued and placedcorporate and mortgage bonds (57 per cent market share). During 2005,the Bank structured and arranged 16 new debt transactions amounting to 155 million.

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Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich AG (RZB) is the central institutionof the 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 than10 million customers areattended to through 2,700 business outlets. In eight markets, therespective Network Bank ranks among the three largest local banks.Representative offices in Lithuania and Moldova complement the group''spresence in the region. Raiffeisen International''s shares are traded onthe Vienna Stock Exchange. RZB owns 70 per cent, the balance isfree-float.

RZB''s balance-sheet total amounted to 93.9 billion at 31 December 2005, 38 per cent more than at year-end 2004. Pre-tax profit was up 34 per cent at 929.9 million.

Euromoney is the worlds leading monthly publication for the global banking, finance and capital markets. Its Awards for Excellence, now in their 15th year, recognise the best-performing financial institutions in every significant financial market and product sector, as well as the leading banks in well over 100 countries. More information about the awards can be found at www.euromoney.com

For further information please contact Andreas Ecker-Nakamura (+43.1/71707-1753, andreas.ecker@rzb.at) or Manuel Vaid (+43.1/717 07-1626,manuel.vaid@rzb.at).

http://www.rzb.at, http://www.ri.co.at

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