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Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) and EBRD sign first local-currency fundingfacility.

Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD has signed a Revolving Facility Agreementwith the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD),London, providing local-currency funding amounting to Bulgarian Leva(BGN) 40 million (approx.€ 20.5 million) for on-lending to Bulgarian borrowers. The deal is a milestone for the EBRD, which, having secured financing in BGN for the first time, is now exploring a number of Bulgarian projects that would require funding in the local currency. The term of the facility is one year with an option to be extended upon mutual agreement.

The facility is another step in the strategic cooperation between thetwo banks. In 2002, Raiffeisenbank received its first loan earmarked forsmall and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the EBRD, amounting to€ 10 million.

Raiffeisenbank, a full subsidiary of Raiffeisen InternationalBank-Holding AG (Raiffeisen International), was established in 1994. Atyear-end 2004, its total assets have increased by 137 per cent to€ 1,026 million. 15 newly opened offices increased the total number of business outlets to 52. Raiffeisen International is a fully-consolidated subsidiary of Vienna-based Raiffeisen Zentralbank ?sterreich AG (RZB). Its shares are traded on the Vienna Stock Exchange. Raiffeisen International operates the leading banking network in Central and Eastern Europe. It manages 15 Network Banks and 14 leasing companies with more than 920 business outlets, serving roughly 5 million customers in 17 markets of the region. As of year-end 2004, its balance-sheet total amounted to € 28.9 billion, representing a 44 per cent growth compared with 2003. Profit before tax reached € 342.2 million, up 24 per cent on the previous year.

The EBRD, owned by 60 governments and two intergovernmentalinstitutions, aims to foster the transition from centrally planned tomarket economies in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth ofIndependent States.


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