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20.12.05

RZB arranges first internationally syndicated loan for Belarus.

RZB, Priorbank and Russian Vneshtorgbank Mandated Lead Arrangers.Transaction underpins RZB''s leading role for CEE loan syndications.

Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich AG (RZB), together with Belarusiansubsidiary JSC Priorbank and Russian JSC Vneshtorgbank, are MandatedLead Arrangers for the first internationally syndicated loan in foreigncurrency for the Republic of Belarus. The loan of USD 32 million bearsan interest rate of LIBOR plus 4.25 per cent p.a. The tenor is one year,with the option to extend for a further year at the lenders'' discretion.The funds are earmarked for infrastructure and social programmeinvestments.

"With this debut transaction on the international capital markets weonce more underpin our role as pioneers and door-openers in Central andEastern Europe. We consider this as a contribution to the country''stransformation process", said Herbert Stepic, RZB''s Deputy GeneralManager and CEO of Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG (RaiffeisenInternational)."We are very pleased to have attracted such prominentarrangers for first foreign-currency transaction of this kind", saidNikolai Korbut, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Belarus. PatrickButler, RZB Board Member for Global Treasury& Markets and GlobalFinancial Institutions& Sovereigns, added:"RZB is the undisputedleader in syndicated loans in CEE. We were Mandated Lead Arranger for 38deals in the region in 2005, putting us well ahead of other largeinternational banking groups."

RZB is the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group,the country''s most powerful banking group. It is a leading corporate andinvestment bank and also considers Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) asits home market. Via listed subsidiary Raiffeisen International, itoperates the leading banking network in CEE with 16 subsidiary banks andmany finance leasing companies in 16 markets. 9.2 million customers areserved through 2,400 business outlets.

Through subsidiary Raiffeisen International, RZB has been Priorbank''smajority owner since 2003. Priorbank was founded in 1989 as a privatebank. With a balance-sheet total of€ 651 million as at 30 September 2005 it is the country''s third-largest bank. 1,800 employees attend to nearly 540,000 customers in 42 banking outlets throughout the country. Besides Raiffeisen International, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD),London, and some local companies are shareholders of Priorbank.

For further information please contact Andreas Ecker (+43.1/71 707-1753,andreas.ecker@rzb.at)or Michael Palzer (+43.1/717 07-1504,michael.palzer@ri.co.at).

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

 

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