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    Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD to establish a leasing company


    On Dec. 11, 2003 Raiffeisenbank(Bulgaria) E.A.D. and Raiffeisen Leasing International GmbH (RLI), both indirect subsidiaries of Vienna-based Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG (RZB), have decided to establish Raiffeisen Leasing (Bulgaria) OOD to meet the growing demand for leasing financing in Bulgaria. This also reflects Bulgaria's recent strong economical growth.
    Raiffeisen Leasing will act as a universal leasing company and offer leasing for a variety of assets with special focus on financial leasing. It is still undergoing registration, and is expected to begin its work in mid-2004 first in Sofia, and then in other large Buglarian cities, where Raiffeisenbank has set up branches.
    According to Momtchil Andreev, chairman of the Management Board of Raiffeisenbank (Buglaria) EAD, the establishment of the leasing company is a logical step for Raiffeisenbank, having in mind the growing demand for leasing products and the bank’s excellent market share in corporate banking. In this way, the bank will increase the range of services it offers and will reinforce its position of a leading financial institution.

    Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD was founded in 1994 and is one of the most dynamic banks on the Bulgarian market. The bank’s assets have grown with 37,5% since the beginning of 2003, and as of November 2003 are €413,7 million. During the last year, the number of employees rose with 26% to 587 people. The number of branches reached 36 as of November 2003, which is an increase of 20% compared to last year. About 90,000 customers are being serviced, from individuals and local small- and medium sized enterprises to multinational groups. During the first 10 months of 2003, the bank’s market share in corporate loans rose from 7% to 9%, making it a leader in this segment. The bank's after tax Return on Equity of 35,5% per cent places it among the country's most profitable institutes.

    RLI is based in Vienna and is owned by Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG and Raiffeisen Leasing GmbH. It has 11 operative leasing subsidiaries in Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia and Slovenia. Subsidiaries in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Belarus will follow soon. For the international leasing group a profit of around € 20 mio on approximately € 1.4 bn total assets is forecasted as per end of 2003.


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