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    Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD doubles its balance-sheet total, loan portfolio and customer deposits in first quarter 2005 compared to the same period in 2004.


    Balance-sheet total in the first quarter of 2005 has exceeded BGN 2 112 mln., representing a 128,37 per cent growth, compared the same period in 2004, while the profit after tax increased by 83,6 per cent. Retail loan portfolio has grown by 282,34 per cent, customers deposits increased by 98,14 per cent year-on-year basis.

    Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD reports BGN 11,51 mln. first-quarter profit after tax, an increase of 83,6 per cent compared to the same period last year. First-quarter profit before tax amounted to BGN 13.54 mln., representing a 73,88 per cent growth.

    Balance-sheet total exceeds BGN 2 112 mln.
    The balance-sheet total of Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD reached BGN 2 112,6 mln. in the first quarter of 2005, reflecting an increase of 128,37 per cent over the first quarter of 2004. Compared to year-end 2004 this represents a growth of 5,3 per cent. At the end of March 2005 the loan portfolio of Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD reached BGN 1 487,6 mln, increasing by 104,89% compared to the same period last year, while preserving the excellent quality of the assets. Customer deposits went up by 98,14 per cent to BGN 1 114,8 mln.

    Improved efficiency ratios.
    Raiffeisenbank is among the most profitable and efficient financial institutions in Bulgaria for the first quarter of 2005 with a Return on Equity (RoE) after tax of 34,6 per cent compared to 32,8 per cent at the end of 2004. The bank maintains an excellent cost/income ratio of 46,5 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 March 31, 2005 the total own funds of Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD reached BGN 204 mln, which corresponds to 84,52 per cent growth compared to March 31, 2004 and 31,6 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 quarter of 2005 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 quarter of 2005, the bank underwrote and successfully placed the first bond issue of the Municipality of Shumen and has been nominated as the Lead Manager of five forthcoming issues of local companies and banks for the total amount of EUR 43 mln.

    Leader in financing the Bulgarian SMEs
    During the first quarter of 2005 the SME loan portfolio has been growing faster than the market and registered an increase of 93,75 per cent compared to March 31, 2004 and 30,5 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 282,34 per cent compared to March 31, 2005 and by 41,41 per cent to BGN 136 mln. compared to December 31, 2004. The number of issued cards by the bank – Maestro and Visa has increased by 96 per cent year-on-year basis and by 31 per cent, compared to year-end 2004.

    Raiffeisenbank increased its branch network and alternative distribution channels.
    For the first three 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 quarter of 2005 Raiffeisenbank has continued to develop its branch network. The newly opened 4 offices brought the total number of branches to 54.

    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). RZB is the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, the country's most powerful banking group. Through Raiffeisen International it operates a network of 15 subsidiary banks with more than 920 branches.


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