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20.10.04

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Largest loan to date in the country''s leasing industry

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is makingits largest ever loan to the leasing sector in Russia, leading a USD 150million syndicated loan for OOORaiffeisen-Leasing, Russia, a subsidiary of Raiffeisenbank Austria, ZAO and Austrian Raiffeisen Leasing International, in a deal that has generated considerable interest among commercial banks keen to buy quality Russian debt. The loan size was increased by 50 per cent after international banks heavily oversubscribed the amount originally offered for syndication.

As a result, USD 100 million has been syndicated to 24 commercial banksunder an EBRD A/B loan structure whereby the EBRD remains the lender ofrecord for the whole amount. The EBRD portion is USD 50 million, with afive-year maturity. The maturity of the syndicated portion is threeyears, with an option to extend for a further two years at each lenders discretion.

Herbert Stepic, Chairman of Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG(Raiffeisen International) and Deputy Chairman of Raiffeisen ZentralbankOesterreich AG (RZB), said:"This is another landmark transaction thatproves that Raiffeisen Leasing International is not only a well-renownedfinancing institution throughout Central and Eastern Europe, but is alsoa very attractive company for Western European lenders."

Leasing is one of the fastest growing areas of Russias financial markets, even though its overall penetration is still low. In a country where bank loans longer than one year are still rare, leasing often represents the only practical way medium-sized Russian companies can finance capital investments."With this loan, the EBRDs aim is to encourage competition in the sector and spread leasing beyond Moscow and St Petersburg so that companies in Russias regions can benefit from the flexibility it offers", said Jonathan Woollett, Director of the EBRDs Non-Bank Financial Institutions Team.

OOORaiffeisen-Leasing, Russia, founded in the year 2000, the first leasing company in Russia with 100% foreign capital, 50% owned by Raiffeisenbank Austria, ZAO and 50% by Raiffeisen Leasing International, offers financial leasing, mainly for industrial equipment and vehicles, to sectors including construction, telecommunications and transport. OOO Raiffeisen-Leasing Russia will use a significant part of this facility to support its leasing business expansion into Russia''s regions, which is scheduled to start this year, added Jaroslaw Konczewski, General Director of OOO Raiffeisen-Leasing Russia.

Raiffeisenbank Austria, ZAO is a subsidiary of Raiffeisen InternationalBank-Holding AG (Raiffeisen International). Raiffeisen International,100per cent owned by Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich AG (RZB-Austria),is the holding company for RZBs most important subsidiaries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). RZB-Austria is the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, the country''s most powerful banking group.

 

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