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    Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD achieves BGN 1 304 Mio. total assets and BGN 20.07 Mio. profit after tax

    • As of 30 September 2004, Raiffeisenbank’s balance sheet total came up to BGN 1 304 Mio. which was 53.99% more than at year-end 2003.
    • Profit after tax has increased by 77.22% to BGN 20.07 Mio. Since 30 September 2003.
    • The number of customers has grown by 56.3% compared to 30 September 2003 and by 40.7% compared to 31 December 2003.

    Efficiency ratios:
    Return on Equity (RoE) after tax of 37.59% compared to 34% in 2003;
    Return on Assets (RoA) after tax of 2.52% compared to 2% in 2003;
    Cost/Income Ratio 45.85% compared to 53% in 2003.

    By maintaining a good quality of assets the loan portfolio of Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD increased by 63.24% in past year, reaching BGN 922.55 Mio by 30 September 2004. Customer deposits went up by 34.48 % to BGN 711.63 Mio.

    In July 2004 Raiffeisenbank successfully utilised the first tranche of EUR 10 Mio. from the credit line of the Council of Europe Development Bank and in August 2004 received the second tranche of EUR 10 Mio. The utilisation of the first tranche was carried out 13 months ahead of schedule. Likewise, the second credit line of the European Investment Bank of EUR 20 Mio. is currently being utilised at a very good pace.

    Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD was nominated the Lead Manager and successfully placed the 5-year EUR10 million second corporate bond of Unionbank AD. The Bank has also structured and placed a 5-year EUR 2 million debt issued by Autobohemia AD – the first corporate bond on the local market secured by a bank guarantee. In 2004 alone, the total face value of the five newly issued bonds underwritten, managed and launched by Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD has reached BGN 47 million. In its capacity as an investment intermediary, Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD has also executed the biggest ever block deal on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange with shares of Lukoil Neftochim AD, amounting to BGN 153 million.

    Compared to 31 December 2003, the SME loan portfolio increased by 117.7%. The new SME product has proved popular with customers: the “Microcredit”, which offers up to BGN 7000 with no tangible collateral. More and more companies are financing the purchase of their corporate vehicles with the “Car Loan” product from Raiffeisenbank. The bank offers a full range of banking products and services for SMEs: “Initiative”, “Medic”, “Pharmacy” and “Mortgage” loans, for financing investment and working capital.

    Raiffeisenbank continued to expand its market share in Retail banking, and as of 30 September 2004 Retail customers had grown by 38.87% compared to year-end 2003. The promotional conditions of the mortgage loan product attracted great interest and strengthened Raiffeisenbank’s position in the housing sector. At the end of the third quarter of 2004 mortgage loans had increased by 94.77% compared to 31 December 2003. Raiffeisenbank also offers some of the most competitive conditions for consumer loans, which at the end of Q3 2004 had increased by 168.7% compared to year-end 2003. The long term “Deposit+” is continually drawing customers with its attractive conditions – it has grown by 240% during the third quarter of 2004.

    Raiffeisenbank has continued to develop its branch network and by 30 September 2004 it has reached 46 operating offices.

    “The results for the third quarter are excellent and we are particularly satisfied with the fact that Raiffeisenbank is increasing its market share while at the same time improving its efficiency ratios. The attractive conditions offered for retail products provoked great interest and the bank has doubled its growth rates. During the first quarter of 2004 the new SME product, the fast microloan, has proved very popular with customers,” said Mr. Momtchil Andreev, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD.

    Herbert Stepic, Chairman of the Managing Board of Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG (Raiffeisen International) and Deputy Chairman of Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG (RZB), was very pleased with Raiffeisenbank's dynamic development: "Raiffeisenbank is growing faster than the local market, while at the same time further improving its profitability ratios. Especially its commitment to small and medium-sized enterprises is beneficial for the whole country, as this sector forms the backbone of Bulgaria's economy."

    Raiffeisenbank, the banking unit of the RZB Group in Bulgaria, was established in 1994. The bank is 100 per cent owned by Raiffeisen International, the holding company for RZB's subsidiaries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Raiffeisen International is 92 per cent owned by RZB. Further owners are the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) with a share of 4 per cent each. RZB is the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, the country's most powerful banking group. A leading corporate and investment bank in Austria, RZB considers CEE as its home market. Through Raiffeisen International it operates a network of 15 subsidiary banks with more than 800 banking outlets, as well as two representative offices in 16 markets of the region.

    For further information: Public relations Department,
    tel. 91 985 174, 167


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