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19.12.05

RZB Group with sixth record results in a row.

ROE above 23 per cent. Total Assets increased by 29 per cent. Targetedexpansion of CEE network accomplished, Bank Aval acquired.

The group of Raiffeisen Zentralbank ?sterreich AG (RZB) is set toachieve according to the current results outlook the sixth record results in a row, maintaining its dynamic growth. Due to the fact that RZB Group is growing faster than the market, it is gaining market share in Austria as well as in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Thesuccessful Initial Public Offering of its subsidiary Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG (Raiffeisen International) this spring further fuelled the growth momentum."RZB has a consistent focus on itshome markets in Austria and CEE and is strategically well positioned.The repeated record results confirm that we are on the right track",said Walter Rothensteiner, CEO of RZB.

Total assets expected to increase to 88 billion

According to the results outlook for the business year 2005, the totalassets of RZB Group will increase by about 29 per cent to 88 billion compared to year-end 2004. The increase is based solely on organic growth. Recently acquired Bank Aval is not included, as its balance sheet according to IFRS is being compiled currently.

Expected Profit before tax of about 890 million

The RZB Group''s expected profit before tax (excluding Bank Aval) amountsto about 890 million or 29 per cent more than last year. Profit after tax is expected to increase by 11 per cent to about 630 million."RZB''s results are traditionally driven by the corporate business bothin Austria and CEE. Also the Treasury segment is a constant incomesource. Particularly pleasant is the positive development of the retailbusiness, Rothensteiner stated.

More than 5 billion in own funds

Total own funds of the RZB Group are expected to increase byapproximately 23 per cent to roughly 5.05 billion. This increase is mainly due to retained earnings and the IPO of Raiffeisen International in April. The excess cover ratio is projected at more than 18 per cent, the own funds ratio will probably reach 9.5 per cent, the core capital ratio 8.5 per cent. Figures relating to the equity already account for the purchase of Bank Aval. The Group''s own funds are therefore more than sufficient.

High Return on Equity in spite of increased own funds

The increased equity brought return on equity before tax down. At 23 percent (after 29.9 per cent in 2004) it is still a very good ratio. Inspite of high investments into the expansion in CEE designed to providethe base for long-term business and profits, the cost/income ratio isexpected to improve from 60.5 to approximately 58 per cent. Provisioningfor loan losses is projected to be 6 per cent less than in the previousyear.

More than 4,000 jobs created

The RZB Group has again recorded a strong increase in staff. As ofyear-end, approximately 29,700 staff members will be employed, anincrease of almost 20 per cent. Including the 17,200 employees of BankAval, the RZB Group therefore employs a workforce of 46,900.

Network in CEE further expanded

In 2004, the leading Albanian bank, now Raiffeisen Bank, was acquired.This year, Bank Aval, the second-largest Ukrainian bank, was purchased,making Raiffeisen the largest local banking group. With this deal,Raiffeisen has again underpinned its role as a leading banking group inCEE.

Following the acquisition of Bank Aval, RZB''s banking network nowconsists of 16 banks, numerous leasing and specialized companies and tworepresentative offices in 17 markets of the region. The Network Bankssteered by Raiffeisen International are among the three largest localbanks in nine CEE market.

Expected key data 2005 RZB Group*



RZB Group according to IFRS

Monetary values in mn

2005e2004**Change
Balance-sheet totalappr. 88,00067,853appr. 20,000
Profit before tax appr. 890692.3appr. 198
Profit after taxappr. 630565.8appr. 64
Return on Equity before taxappr. 23 %29.9 %appr. 6.9 pp
Number of staff at balance-sheet dateappr. 29,70025,323appr. 4,400
Business outletsappr. 1,100932appr. 170

* rounded projections exluding Bank Aval

** Because of amended and new IFRS standards, comparative figures havebeen adjusted slightly.

For further information please contact Andreas Ecker-Nakamura (+43-1/71707-1753,andreas.ecker@rzb.at)or Manuel Vaid (+431-71707-1626,manuel.vaid@rzb.at).

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

 

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