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    The Banker awarded Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) Bank of the Year 2005

    • Raiffeisen International „Bank of the Year 2005“ in Emerging Markets.
    • RZB Group also gets awards for Austria and five countries in Central- and Eastern Europe.

    The Banker, the renowned magazine from the Financial Times Group, has awarded Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG (Raiffeisen International) the global title „Bank of the Year 2005“ in Emerging Markets. Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG (RZB) was awarded „Bank of the Year“ in Austria. Five of Raiffeisen International ‘s Network Banks in Central- and Eastern Europe (CEE) were also awarded „Bank of the Year 2005“ in their respective home markets. The awards were presented at a reception ceremony in London on the 6th September 2005.

    The title „Bank of the Year“ is awarded by The Banker for different regions, countries and categories. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious business awards. The decision is not only based on quantitative criteria, such as total assets or earning power, but also the development of state-of-the-art technical infrastructures and future-oriented strategies and their implementation.
    Raiffeisen International is „Bank of the Year” in Emerging Markets.

    This is the first time The Banker has awarded one of its prestigious global awards to an Austrian company. Based on the decision by the jury Raiffeisen International is the global “Bank of the Year 2005” in Emerging Markets. “We feel great pride in receiving this award, for it is not only a confirmation of the quality of our CEE Network, but also a signal of the rising importance of the region globally”, said Herbert Stepic, CEO of Raiffeisen International.

    RZB is „Bank of the Year” in Austria. In addition, RZB was selected by the jury as Bank of the Year in Austria. “This award underscores our positive development and our success with Austrian corporate customers. It also shows that the award is not only based on size. With our service quality and innovative strength we have convinced the jury”, said Walter Rothensteiner, CEO of RZB.
    First time award for Bulgaria as well as Serbia and Montenegro
    Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria), Sofia for the first time and Raiffeisenbank a.d., Belgrade, for the second time were selected as Bank of the Year. With assets of € 1.1 billion as of June 2005 Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria is the fourth-largest bank in the country. Founded in 1994, the bank serves more than 150,000 customers through 60 business outlets.

    Raiffeisenbank a.d., which was founded in the autumn of 2000, was the first bank in Serbia to be founded by Western owners after the political changes. With assets of €1.03 billion, it has been the largest bank in the country since November 2004.

    Consecutive winners in Albania, Belarus as well as Bosnia and Hercegovina
    Raiffeisen Bank Sh.a., Tirana, Priorbank JSC, Minsk and Raiffeisen Bank d.d. Bosna i Hercegovina, Sarajevo received the award „Bank of the Year“ for the third consecutive year in their country categories. The Banker based the decision on the strong market presence of the banks, as well as their outstanding profitability.

    Raiffeisen Bank Sh.a., Tirana was acquired by Raiffeisen International in 2004. It is by far the largest bank in Albania with total assets of € 1.7 billion as of June 2005.
    Priorbank, based on its assets of € 590 million, is the largest private bank in Belarus, ranking third overall. With 42 business outlets and more than 1,800 staff Priorbank serves around 510,000 customers, including public institutions, small and medium sizes enterprises (SME), corporate and retail clients.

    Raiffeisen Bank Bosna i Hercegovina d.d. became the largest bank in Bosnia Hercegovina in the year 2000. Assets grew by 7.7 per cent in the first half of 2005 to € 1.1 billion. Continuing product innovations and high service quality distinguish the bank. At the moment the bank employs 1.100 staff and operates 67 business outlets, being the only bank operating country-wide.
    * * * * *
    Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG (RZB) is the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, the country's most powerful banking group. It is a leading corporate and investment bank and also considers Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as its home market. Via subsidiary Raiffeisen International, it operates the leading banking network in CEE with 15 subsidiary banks and numerous finance leasing companies in 16 markets. 5.7 million customers are served via almost 1,000 business outlets. In eight markets, the respective Network Bank ranks among the three largest local banks. Raiffeisen International's shares are traded on the Vienna Stock Exchange. RZB owns 70 per cent. The balance is free-float.

    RZB's balance-sheet total amounted to € 79.1 billion at year-end 2004, 16.5 per cent more than at year-end 2004. Pre-tax profit grew by 78 per cent to € 546.2 million.


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