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    EBRD lends Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EUR 10 mln to promote Residential Energy Efficiency


    Sofia, 30 June 2005 – Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD has received a EUR 10 mln loan from the EBRD to help finance private individuals’ efforts to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. This will allow households to cut down energy consumption and costs. Individuals will use Raiffeisenbank loans to improve, for example, double glazing, interior and exterior insulation, incl. roofs and floors, biomass stoves and boilers, solar water heaters, efficient gas boilers and heat pumps.

    The EBRD is providing this funding under a Framework for Bulgarian financial institutions, where such funding is then on-lent to individuals for eligible investments.

    As an incentive for rapid implementation of the project, borrowers will benefit from a grant of up to 20% of the loan amount upon completion of the works. The percentage of the grant will depend on the type of the project but the maximum amount that one family may receive will be EUR 850 or BGN 1 662. The resources for the grant scheme are provided by the Kozloduy International Decommissioning Support Fund, set up in 2000 with donor funds from the EU and a number of EU member countries, as well as Switzerland.

    Terry McCallion, Senior Banker at the EBRD, said that this loan is part of the first energy efficiency facility for residential customers provided by the EBRD and the associated donors; this Framework complements an existing facility, made available to Bulgarian banks last year, that targets energy efficiency and renewable energy in the corporate sector.

    In 2002, Raiffeisenbank received EUR 10 mln loan from the EBRD for SME (small and medium enterprises) financing. The funds were successfully disbursed to local SMEs, creating a substantial number of permanent jobs. The Facility included funds for technical assistance, which Raiffeisenbank efficiently used to optimize the loan processing.

    Raiffeisenbank is a subsidiary of Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG. Raiffeisen International operates the leading banking network in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) with 15 network banks and 14 leasing companies. In approximately 950 business outlets more than 5.2 million customers are served in 16 markets of the region. Raiffeisen International is listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange, it is a fully consolidated subsidiary of RZB and the steering company for the RZB Group's subsidiaries in CEE. RZB is the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, the country's most powerful banking group.

    During the first quarter of 2005, Raiffeisenbank continued its dynamic growth. Its balance-sheet total reached BGN 2,112.6 mln (EUR 1,080 mln), reflecting an increase of 128% over the first quarter of 2004. First-quarter profit before tax amounted to BGN 13.54 mln (EUR 6.92 mln), representing a 74% growth compared to the same period last year. First-quarter profit after tax was BGN 11.51 mln (EUR 5.88 mln), an increase of 84%.

    In the first three months of 2005, four newly opened offices brought the total number of outlets to 54.

    The EBRD is the largest investor in Bulgaria having committed more than EUR 1 billion in 53 projects across all sectors of the economy. The Bank, owned by 60 governments and two intergovernmental institutions, aims to foster the transition from centrally planned to market economies in central and eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.


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