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    Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD doubles its balance-sheet total in first half 2005 compared to the same period in 2004.Net profit grows by 67,5 per cent


    Balance-sheet total in the first half of 2005 has grown by 92,9 per cent to BGN 2 296,7 mln., representing an 8 per cent market share. The profit after tax increased by 67,5 per cent. Retail loan portfolio has grown by 295,9 per cent, customers deposits increased by 112,4 per cent year-on-year basis.

    Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD reports BGN 22,83 mln. first-half profit after tax, an increase of 67,53 per cent compared to the same period last year.

    Balance-sheet total exceeds BGN 2 200 mln
    The balance-sheet total of Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD reached BGN 2 296,7 mln. in the first half of 2005, reflecting an increase of 92,93 per cent over the first half of 2004. Compared to year-end 2004 this represents a growth of 14,5 per cent. The bank moved from 6th place (at the end of June 2004) to 4th place (at the end of June 2005) in terms of total assets with market share of 8 per cent. At the end of June 2005 the loan portfolio of Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD reached BGN 1 244,73 mln, increasing by 55,06 per cent compared to the same period last year, while preserving the excellent quality of the assets. Customer deposits went up by 112,36 per cent to BGN 1 344,84 mln compared with June 30, 2004.

    Efficiency ratios
    Raiffeisenbank is among the most profitable and efficient financial institutions in Bulgaria for the first half of 2005 with a Return on Equity (RoE) after tax of 32,4 per cent. The bank maintains an excellent cost/income ratio of 48,9 per cent, whereas the return on Assets (RoA) after tax improved to 2,6 per cent compared with the 2,1 per cent in December 2004.

    Increase of the total own funds
    As of June 30, 2005 the total own funds of Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD reached BGN 202 mln, which corresponds to 74 per cent growth compared to June 30, 2004 and 30 per cent increase compared to December 31, 2004. Aiming to reinforce the dynamic growth of the bank, its total capital base has been increased in the first quarter of 2005 by EUR 25 mln., of which EUR 15 mln represents an increase of the paid-in share capital by Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG – the sole owner of Raiffeisenbank, and EUR 10 mln – an increase of the supplementary capital reserves in form of debt-capital hybrid facility granted by Raiffeizen Zentrobank AG.

    Relationship with financial institutions
    In March 2005, Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed a BGN 40 mln. revolving Facility Agreement - the first financing in local currency granted to the EBRD by a Bulgarian financial institution. During the first half of 2005, Raiffeisenbank signed a EUR 150 mln Syndicated Term Loan Facility with, The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi Ltd., Bayern LB, DZ Bank and Bank Austria Creditanstalt acting as Mandated Lead Arrangers. The bank has also received a EUR 10 mln loan from the EBRD to help finance private individuals’ efforts to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Raiffeisenbank has prepaid in full its first Syndicated loan for EUR 75 mln. - concluded and successfully disbursed in June 2004 – in line with the contracted option for voluntary prepayment of the loan.

    Investment banking
    Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD further strengthened its outstanding position as a Lead Manager on the Bulgarian debt origination market. In the first half of 2005, the bank underwrote and successfully placed four bond issues for total nominal value of EUR 23 mln. and has been nominated as the Lead Manager of six forthcoming issues of local companies and banks for the total amount of EUR 95 mln.

    Leader in financing the Bulgarian SMEs
    During the first half of 2005 the SME loan portfolio has been growing faster than the market and registered an increase of 77 per cent compared to June 30, 2004 and 42,3 per cent compared to December 2004. In the first quarter of 2005 Raiffeisenbank launched a new loan product for the purchase of agricultural equipment - Agrocredit.

    Raiffeisenbank recorded a strong increase in its Retail loan portfolio
    In 2005 Raiffeisenbank continued to expand its market share in Retail banking. The Retail loan portfolio has grown by 295,9 per cent compared to June 30, 2005 and by 112,4 per cent to BGN 204,7 mln. compared to December 31, 2004. The number of issued cards by the bank – Maestro and Visa has increased by 79,29 per cent year-on-year basis and by 43,67 per cent, compared to year-end 2004.

    Raiffeisenbank increased its branch network and alternative distribution channels
    For the first six months of 2005, the network of mobile bankers recorded a three-fold increase. Currently the bank has 80 qualified consultants with excellent communication skills offering its products in eight cities. The service is unique for the Bulgarian market, but is typical for the banks from the RZB Group. In the first half of 2005 Raiffeisenbank has continued to develop its branch network. The newly opened 10 offices brought the total number of branches to 60.

    Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD 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). The shares of Raiffeisen International are traded on the Vienna Stock Exchange. RZB owns 70 per cent Raiffeisen International operates the leading banking network in CEE with Network Banks and leasing companies in 16 markets. More than 5.7 million customers are served through more than 970 business outlets.


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