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05.07.06

Raiffeisen starts leasing business in Ukraine.

Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG will start leasing business inUkraine with immediate effect. The newly established Raiffeisen LeasingAval is jointly owned by Raiffeisen Bank Aval, the groups local banking subsidiary, and Raiffeisen-Leasing International GmbH (RLI), the Vienna-based sub-holding company for the leasing activities in Central and Eastern Europe. In line with its mission to take a leading position on the local leasing market, Raiffeisen International invested a charter capital of more than USD 2 million into the new operation.

Herbert Stepic, CEO of Raiffeisen International, underlined theimportance of this particular business area,Leasing has always been an integral part of our groups comprehensive range of banking products that we offer to our clients across the region. Since the acquisition of Bank Aval last year, we are the number two in the Ukrainian banking market distributing our services through more than 1,350 branches. It is our aim to grow our leasing business rapidly and to become one of the leading providers in the country within two years.

From the outset, Raiffeisen Leasing Aval will be acting as a universalleasing company, offering both equipment and vehicle leasing and addingreal estate activities later this year. Products will be sold throughRaiffeisen Bank Avals branch network, but also through RLIs numerous vendor partners. This unique combination of local market presence and international leasing know-how will allow us to gain a strong position on the booming Ukrainian market, said Volodymyr Lavrenchuk, CEO of Raiffeisen Bank Aval, and added, Our local clients welcomed our move and started to ask for lease financing immediately. They trust our know-how and experience in handling this financing instrument which is not yet very familiar to many companies.

With a new business volume in 2005 of less than USD 200 million or 0.33per cent of GDP (compared with 2 to 5 per cent in Western economies),leasing continues to be extremely underdeveloped in Ukraine.

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Raiffeisen International operates one of the leading banking networks inCEE with subsidiary banks and leasing companies in 16 markets. More than10 million customers are attended through 2,700 business outlets. Ineight markets, the respective Network Bank ranks among the three largestlocal banks. Representative offices in Lithuania and Moldova complementthe Group''s presence in the region. Raiffeisen International is a fullyconsolidated subsidiary of Raiffeisen Zentralbank ?sterreich AG (RZB),which owns 70 per cent of the common stock. The remaining 30 per cent isfree float, the shares are traded on the Vienna Stock Exchange. RZB is aleading corporate and investment bank in Austria and the centralinstitution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, the country''slargest banking group.

Raiffeisen International''s balance-sheet total amounted to 41.9 billion at the end of the first quarter 2006. Consolidated profit (after minorities) increased by 34 per cent to 124 million, compared with the first quarter 2005.

Raiffeisen-Leasing International (RLI)

Raiffeisen International''s leasing units in Central and Eastern Europeare steered by the sub-group''s holding company Raiffeisen-LeasingInternational (RLI), which is 75 per cent owned by RaiffeisenInternational and 25 per cent owned by Raiffeisen-Leasing GmbH, Vienna.Raiffeisen-Leasing, in turn, is owned by RZB (51 per cent) and the eightAustrian Regional Raiffeisen Banks (49 per cent).

Currently the Raiffeisen-Leasing Network comprises 17 subsidiaries in 15countries. RLI owns 50 per cent of its subsidiaries in most of thecountries, the balance in nearly all cases being held by the localNetwork Bank. RLI is active in all markets covered by RaiffeisenInternational''s Network Banks, except Kosovo. A staff of nearly 1,100 isemployed in 126 outlets, often at the premises of a Network Bank. In sixcountries, RLI''s subsidiaries are among the top five local leasingcompanies with market shares reaching 22 per cent.

As of end 2005, new business across the RLI Group amounted to more than 1.35 billion, an increase of almost 21 per cent compared with the same period for 2004. Total assets amounted to almost 2.23 billion (plus 29 per cent).

For further information please contact Michael Palzer (+43.1/71707-1504, michael.palzer@ri.co.at) or

Lars D. Hofer (+43.1/71 707-1930, lars.hofer@ri.co.at).

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

 

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