Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG acts as the main sponsor of the 53rd Eurovision Song Contest currently taking place in Belgrade. This is already the third big TV event sponsored by Raiffeisen International after last year's Ice Hockey World Championship in Moscow and the European Figure Skating Championship, which took place in Zagreb in January. The local Raiffeisen Banks and leasing companies act as «presenting partner» in twelve Central and Eastern European countries — Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine. Raiffeisen International itself will present the final on Austria's ORF broadcasting station, live on Saturday, 24 May, at 9.00 p.m. (CEST).
During the first semi-final on 20 May, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Greece, Israel, Norway, Poland, Romania and Russia qualified for the final.
The second Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 took place in Belgrade on 22 May. The audience voted ten countries through to the final on Saturday — representatives of Ukraine, Croatia, Albania, Iceland, Georgia, Denmark, Sweden, Latvia, Turkey and Portugal.
Another ten countries will be elected in today's second semi-final. In addition, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, as well as Serbia as last year's winner and this year's host, will participate in the final.
«The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the largest events bringing Europe together in front of the television. It addresses an ideal mix of viewers and provides us with an excellent communication platform towards our more than 14 million customers as well as future clients in Central and Eastern Europe», said Michael Palzer, Head of Communications at Raiffeisen International.
The Eurovision Song Contest has a rich tradition and heritage, dating back to 1956. It is one of the few truly pan-European television programmes transmitted live via the Eurovision satellite network, in prime-time on free-to-air television and is watched by some 100 million viewers throughout Europe and beyond.
Raiffeisen International operates one of the largest banking networks in CEE. 17 markets of Europe's growth region are covered by subsidiary banks, finance leasing companies and a number of other financial service providers. Over 14 million customers are attended to through more than 3,000 business outlets. Raiffeisen International is a fully consolidated subsidiary of Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich AG (RZB), which owns 68.5 per cent of the common stock. The balance is free float, the shares are traded on the Vienna Stock Exchange. RZB is a leading corporate and investment bank in Austria and the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, the country's largest banking group.
For further information please contact Michael Palzer (+43-664-8888-2828, firstname.lastname@example.org).