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Public relations section
Improved efficiency ratios:
Return on Equity (RoE) after tax of 34% compared to 12% in 2002;
Return on Assets (RoA) of 2% compared to 1% in 2002;
Cost/Income Ratio of 52% compared to 60% in 2002.
In 2003 Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD continued its dynamic growth – the loan portfolio increased by 50,2% to BGL 665 Mio, while customer deposits went up by 27% to BGL 513 Mio.
The bank opened 7 new outlets bringing the total up to 37, while the number of employees reached 600.
During the last year Raiffeisenbank was among the top three lenders to corporates in Bulgaria and increased its share in this segment to 9%.
In 2003 Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD fully utilised EUR 20 Mio long-term funds from international financial institutions for financing investment projects of Bulgarian companies.
The share of investment loans in the bank’s portfolio exceeds 50%. Using both external and Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria’s own funds the bank has financed investment projects in the national economy for over EUR 300 Mio.
In 2003 Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD fully disbursed the EUR 10 Mio credit line granted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for financing projects of small and medium-sized enterprises. The bank also launched a range of new lending products focused on this market segment.
Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) continuously expands its market presence in the retail segment by offering attractive mortgage and consumer loans, as well as card products. As of the end of 2003 the loans to individuals and households amounted to BGL 31.7 Mio, which is a 510% increase.
During the past year Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) was a leader on the Foreign Exchange Market, as well as in the arrangement and placement of corporate and mortgage bond issues. The bank successfully issued its own USD 32 Mio uncollateralised 3-year bond.
Herbert Stepic, Chairman of the Managing Board Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG (Raiffeisen International) and Deputy Chairman of Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG (RZB), is very pleased with Raiffeisenbank's dynamic development: "Raiffeisenbank is growing faster than the local market, as do most of our subsidiaries in Central and Eastern Europe. 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 (Bulgaria) EAD is a subsidiary of Raiffeisen International. Raiffeisen International, 100 per cent owned by RZB, is the holding company for RZB's most important subsidiaries in CEE. RZB is the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, the country's most powerful banking group. RZB also considers Central and Eastern Europe as its home market and operates, via Raiffeisen International, a network of 15 subsidiary banks with roughly 800 banking outlets, as well as two representative offices, in 16 markets of the region (including the Albanian Banka e Kursimeve acquired at the beginning of 2004). In September 2003, the Financial Times magazine The Banker has awarded the prestigious prize "Bank of the Year 2003" to RZB in Austria and its network banks Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro and Slovakia. In March, RZB was awarded "Best Bank in Eastern Europe and Central Asia" by the US-Magazine Global Finance. Additionally, RZB's network banks Banka e Kursimeve (Albania), Priorbank (Belarus), Raiffeisen Bank d.d. (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Raiffeisen Bank S.A. (Romania), Raiffeisenbank a.d. (Serbia and Montenegro) and Tatra banka a.s. (Slovakia) won the "Best Bank" awards for their respective countries.