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    EIB launches its first ever BGN Floating Rate Note – RZB and Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD Lead Managers


    The European Investment Bank (“EIB”), the European Union’s long term financing institution, rated Aaa/AAA/AAA (Moody’s/Standard and Poor’s/Fitch), has launched its first floating rate note in Bulgarian leva (BGN).

    The issue was launched under EIB’s Euro Medium Term Note programme and has a volume of BGN 150 million (approximately EUR 77 million) with an issue price of 100.00%. The bond bears a coupon linked to the BGN 3M SOFIBOR. The transaction is jointly arranged by Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG (RZB) and Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD.

    Richard Teichmeister, Deputy Head of Funding in Europe (excl. €) and Africa at the EIB, commented: “After the favourable reception for our first BGN issue in 2005 both by domestic as well as international investors, we saw an opportunity to widen the array of products offered to investors in the Bulgarian leva market with this Floating Rate Note. This issue is a testament to EIB’s commitment to responding to investor needs.”

    Patrick Butler, RZB Board Member responsible for Treasury/Investment Banking and Financial Institutions & Sovereigns, said: “This is the first ever international Floating Rate Note denominated in Bulgarian Leva for the EIB. The RZB Group is delighted to sole-Lead-manage a pioneering deal for this supranational Aaa/AAA/AAA-rated issuer. This is not the first time we have opened up a new market in Central and Eastern Europe with an imaginative, top-notch borrower like EIB, nor will it be the last.”

    Martin Grüll, CFO of Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG, added:”We have a close co-operation with the EIB in Bulgaria on the funding side of the business. The present bond shows that our subsidiaries have also capacity to serve its partners in the capital markets.”

    EIB funding strategy and results

    The Bank’s funding strategy combines a consistent and transparent approach with flexibility and innovation, both in terms of product and maturity. EIB’s total borrowing plan for 2006 is EUR 50 billion, of which around EUR 37 billion have been raised year-to-date.

    Background information on EIB

    The European Investment Bank, based in Luxembourg, was set up in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome. Owned by the European Union Member States, the EIB is the EU’s long-term lending institution, financing projects that promote European economic development and integration. Besides supporting projects in the Member States, its main lending priorities include financing investments in future Member States of the EU. The EIB operates on a non-profit maximising basis and lends at close to the cost of borrowing. The Bank’s consistent AAA rating is underpinned by firm shareholder support, a strong capital base, exceptional asset quality, conservative risk management and a sound funding strategy.

    Background information on RZB

    Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG (RZB) is the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, the country's largest banking group. It is a leading corporate and investment bank in Austria and also considers Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as its home market. Via subsidiary Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG, it operates one of the leading banking networks in CEE with subsidiary banks and finance leasing companies in 16 markets. More than 11 million customers are attended to through more than 2,700 business outlets. In eight markets, the respective Network Bank ranks among the three largest local banks. Representative offices in Lithuania and Moldova complement the group's presence in the region. 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 € 103.2 billion at 30 June 2006, 10 per cent more than at year-end 2005. Pre-tax profit was up 34 per cent against the first semester 2005 and amounted to € 579.0 million.


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