Today’s official start of business activity for Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) strengthens the market position of RBI, which is the most significant participation of the group headed by Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich AG (RZB), and marks the successful conclusion of a future-oriented restructuring process. The merger of Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG (Raiffeisen International), now RBI, with the spun-off principal business areas of RZB has become effective with its entry in the commercial register of the Vienna Commercial Court (Handelsgericht Wien).
«By taking this step, we have optimized RZB’s group structure and ensured that the entire Group is ideally positioned for the future. Customers will benefit from being able to access our bundled product and service competence from a single source, and the step also makes it easier for RBI to access the debt and capital markets. Last but not least, we have managed to ensure that an Austrian majority shareholding can be maintained in this successful internationally-active banking group over the long-term,» said Walter Rothensteiner, CEO of RZB and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of RBI.
«RBI will bring together the strengths of Raiffeisen International as a leading banking group in Central and Eastern Europe and those of RZB as a top product developer with an excellent positioning in the corporate business segment,» said Herbert Stepic, CEO of RBI. «This merger strengthens us to the benefit of our clients and business partners, both of whom will profit from our optimized offering of products and services.»
RBI brings under one roof all of the markets previously addressed by Raiffeisen International and RZB, namely, its corporate customer business in Austria and its extensive network of banking and leasing subsidiaries in Central and Eastern Europe, complemented by corporate customer business in Asia and the world’s financial centres. RBI remains a part of the RZB Group, which is steered by RZB, the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group.
In accordance with Austrian law, RBI as the acquiring entity is the universal successor with regard to the spun-off principal business areas of RZB. For customers, this means that the business relationships taken over by RBI will be maintained without any changes.
Customer accounts that previously existed at RZB have been transferred to RBI, with their account numbers and IBANs remaining unchanged. The same is true for the sort code 31,000 and the SWIFT Code (BIC) RZBAATWW. Customers and business partners will be able to reach their contact persons at RBI under the same telephone and fax numbers as before the merger’s completion. Like RZB, RBI has its headquarters at «Am Stadtpark 9, 1030 Vienna».
What is new is RBI’s homepage (www.rbinternational.com), which provides detailed information about the company’s business segments and the Group’s worldwide network, as well as investor information.
RBI’s free float amounts to around 21.5 per cent, while it had previously amounted to about 27.2 per cent for Raiffeisen International. RZB’s indirect shareholding in RBI amounts to around 78.5 percent.
RBI remains listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange.
RZB retains its name and continues to be the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group and the group head office for the entire RZB Group.
As both Raiffeisen International and RZB held their ground even during the depths of the global economic and financial crisis and managed to remain profitable, the merger resulting in RBI took place out of a position of strength. A large number of reasons existed for merging Raiffeisen International with RZB’s principal business areas. These include the fact that the merger provides RBI with an optimized access to refinancing and capital, enabling RBI to take full advantage of the renewed strength of economic growth in Central and Eastern Europe. RBI received a banking license as a result of the merger.
In addition, the merger brings together Raiffeisen International’s strong distribution network of around 3,000 outlets in 17 CEE markets with RZB’s excellent product know-how in the field of high quality financing and capital products for commercial customers, financial institutions and sovereigns. More generally, the merger makes possible a sensible reallocation of resources towards the CEE markets with sustainable growth. Also, RBI is perfectly positioned for future growth on the basis of the fact that it is both a leading bank in CEE and the Austrian bank with the strongest presence in Asia’s emerging markets.
The following pro forma figures for Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) result from merging Raiffeisen International with the principal business areas of RZB. For the first six months of 2010, Raiffeisen Bank International’s profit before tax amounted to € 579 million, while its consolidated profit (after tax and minorities) was € 472 million. RBI’s provisioning for impairment losses stood at € 608 million.
RBI’s net interest income amounted to € 1,780 million. Its general administrative expenses were € 1,425 million, while its profit from operating activities stood at € 1,261 million. On the basis of the pro forma results for the first two quarters of 2010, the new bank had a cost/income ratio of 53.0 per cent.
RBI’s pro-forma balance sheet total as per 30 June 2010 stood at € 147.9 billion, which represents an increase of 1.3 per cent since the end of 2009 (31 December 2009: € 146 billion). RBI’s return on equity before tax stood at 12.2 per cent. On the basis of the pro forma figures, RBI’s core capital ratio (tier 1), credit risk stood at 12.0 per cent (up 0.2 percentage points compared to year-end 2009), while its core capital ratio (tier 1), total stood at 9.5 per cent (up 0.1 percentage points). RBI’s core tier 1 ratio (core capital less hybrid capital based on total risk) stood at 8.7 per cent (up 0.2 percentage points compared to year-end 2009).
Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) regards both Austria, where it is a leading corporate and investment bank, and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as its home market. In CEE, RBI operates an extensive network of subsidiary banks, leasing companies and a range of other specialised financial service providers in 17 markets. 56,000 employees service about 15 million customers through around 3,000 business outlets in the region.
RBI is the only Austrian bank with a presence in both the world’s financial centres and in Asia, the group’s further geographical area of focus.
RBI is a fully-consolidated subsidiary of Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich AG (RZB). RZB which indirectly owns around 78.5 per cent of the common stock, which is listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange; the remainder is in free float. RZB is the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, the country’s largest banking group, and serves as the group head office of the entire RZB Group, including RBI.