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RZB receives concession for banking business in local Chinese currency.

10 years RZB-Beijing: Federal Chancellor Schuessel inaugurates importantbusiness segment of RZB in China.

The branch of Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich AG (RZB) in Beijing,the only Austrian bank operating in the Peoples Republic of China, is starting banking business in Renminbi, the local Chinese currency, with immediate effect. The receipt of this advanced license is an important step for RZB in terms of a broader access to the Chinese market for financial services.

After having inaugurated RZBs first representative office in China ten years ago, I am very delighted to open up this substantial business area for RZB, says Wolfgang Schuessel, Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria. The issue of this license on the one handshows the importance that China attributes to the bilateral trade and financial relations and is otherwise proof of Chinas confidence in such an inveterate Austrian institute like RZB.

With the license to operate in Renminbi, RZB is now in a position to provide its customers with an even broader range of high standard products and, especially, to improve the services for local Chinese clients, says RZB board member Karl Sevelda on the occasion of theceremony in the Beijing branch. RZB now is now reaping the fruits from its sustainable engagement in China.

For RZB, which already considers Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) asit`s home market, China has been familiar territory for decades.Primarily concentrated on servicing Austrian clients in China, since theend of the eighties RZB has also had an eye on the local Chinese marketand the relationships between Chinese companies and their businessassociates in Austria and in CEE. RZBs hitherto services have consisted of businesses in free convertible foreign currencies for corporate clients registered in China and for off-shore companies

Link between CEE and China

As a tie between the growth markets of CEE and Asia - especially China -and the more mature markets in Western Europe, RZB is in a position toprovide its expertise at the two geographical ends of a transaction. In this bridge head position, RZB is not only leading in the area of trade finance, but is at the same time preparing the ground for foreign direct investments in China.

In addition to the Beijing branch, RZB is also operating a branch inSingapore, the financial centre of Southeast Asia, since 1998. Inaddition, representative offices in Hong Kong, Mumbai (Bombay), Teheran,Ho Chi Minh City and Seoul underpin RZBs claim of being the leading Austrian bank in Asia.

Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich AG (RZB), Vienna, is the centralinstitution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, the country''s mostpowerful banking group. RZB is a leading corporate and investment bankin Austria and also considers CEE as its home market. It operates anetwork of 15 subsidiary banks with 916 banking outlets in 16 markets ofthe region via its subsidiary Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG.


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