The transformation process initiated by Raiffeisen International BankHolding AG (Raiffeisen International) in Ukraine aiming to transformBank Aval, acquired earlier this year, and Raiffeisenbank Ukraine intoone bank, is proceeding swiftly. The Supervisory Boards of Bank Aval andRaiffeisenbank decided to check the feasibility of a faster integrationby a legal merger– the registration of one bank under one name and management – earlier than originally planned. This step could already be done in 2006.The exact date will depend on a feasibility study to be prepared in the course of the next weeks. As already announced, the operational merger, including the harmonisation of systems and bundling of back office functions, will be completed in 2008 at the latest.
“We took this decision after realising that both banks complement each other even better than expected”, explained Herbert Stepic, CEO of Raiffeisen International. The integration of Bank Aval and Raiffeisenbank will combine the strengths of both banks. Bank Aval is aleading bank with high market shares across all segments. Raiffeisenbank has strong experience in attending to corporate and multinational customers. The merger will form the leader in the Ukrainian banking market and also create a clear situation for the customers and employees of the two banks.
“The strategy is laid out clearly: maintain and enlarge our leadership in Ukraine”, said Mr. Stepic. Together, Bank Aval and Raiffeisenbank reach a market share of approximately 12 per cent by total assets, forming the largest banking group in this market of almost 50 million people. The banking market in Ukraine grows significantly: In 2004, the local banks'' aggregated total assets increased by 30 per cent to € 19.6 billion.
Raiffeisen International operates the leading banking network in CEEwith 16 subsidiary banks and many leasing companies in 16 markets. 9.2million customers are served via 2,400 business outlets. RaiffeisenInternational is a fully consolidated subsidiary of RaiffeisenZentralbank Oesterreich AG (RZB), which owns 70 per cent of the commonstock. The remaining 30 per cent is free float, the shares are traded onthe Vienna Stock Exchange. RZB is the central institution of theAustrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, the country''s most powerful bankinggroup.
JSPP Bank Aval, Kiev, was founded in 1992. At year-end 2004, itsbalance-sheet total amounted to€ 1,573 million and profit before tax reached € 38 million. Return on equity was 32.6 per cent. The bank operated some 1,380 business outlets with approximately 17,950 employees at the balance-sheet date.
JSCB Raiffeisenbank Ukraine was founded in 1998. As at 30 September2005, the bank showed assets amounting to€ 913 million, operated 26 outlets and employed 1,513 people.