59 per cent growth in assets under management in 2006. Investment fundsare on the brink of a boom in CEE. New Raiffeisen asset managementcompanies to be opened in Serbia and Ukraine.
The asset management companies belonging to Raiffeisen InternationalBank-Holding AG respectively to the group of Raiffeisen ZentralbankOsterreich AG (RZB) had assets under management of about 3.3 billioneuros in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) at the end of 2006. At thebeginning of 2006 they amounted to 2.1 billion euros.“This reflects a significant increase of 59 per cent and proves our ambition to ensure the success of this particular business”, said Herbert Stepic, CEO of Raiffeisen International.
Investment funds are at the beginning of a long-term boom in thecountries of CEE. The rapid economic development leads to significantincreases in disposable income for many people and consequently to achange in savings behaviour.“The market is still in its infancy, but as in Austria people identify investment funds as an attractive alternative to savings accounts”, Stepic added.
As at year-end 2005 assets under management in the five Central EuropeanEU-member countries, namely Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakiaand Slovenia, amounted to 20 billion euros or close to 7 per cent ofGDP. At the corresponding time only in Austria were 155.6 billion eurosinvested in investment funds. In the eurozone, total assets undermanagement account for about 60 per cent of GDP. In the new EU-membercountries Bulgaria and Romania this measure is below one per cent and inRussia just marginally above one per cent.“This is a valuable indicator for the tremendous long-term growth potential for investment funds in CEE”, Stepic said.
Raiffeisen International started very early to establish its own assetmanagement companies in CEE. As early as 1998 the first companies werefounded in Slovakia and Croatia. In the meantime, RaiffeisenInternational is the market leader in both countries with a share ofabout one third. A new asset management company was opened in Bulgariain spring 2006, which already has a leading market share of 17 per cent.Raiffeisen International offers own investment funds throughsubsidiaries in nine countries of the region. In Serbia and Ukraine theopening of new companies is planned in the near future. RaiffeisenInternational also counts on the experience of Raiffeisen CapitalManagement (RCM), the market leader in Austria, throughout CEE. RCMprovides advisory services on the management of the internationalportfolios of the local asset management companies.
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Raiffeisen International operates one of the leading banking networks inCEE with subsidiary banks and leasing companies in 16 markets. More than11.7 million customers are attended to through more than 2,775 businessoutlets. In eight markets, the respective Network Bank ranks among thethree largest local banks. Representative offices in Lithuania andMoldova complement the Group''s presence in the region. RaiffeisenInternational is a fully consolidated subsidiary of RaiffeisenZentralbank Osterreich AG (RZB), which owns 70 per cent of the commonstock. The remaining 30 per cent is free float, the shares are traded onthe Vienna Stock Exchange. RZB is a leading corporate and investmentbank in Austria and the central institution of the Austrian RaiffeisenBanking Group, the country''s largest banking group.
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