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Raiffeisen banking group awarded «Loan of the Year in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa» by the International Financing Review magazine.

The prestigious weekly industry magazine International Financing Review(IFR) chose the USD 600 million loan for Russian telecom provider MobileTeleSystems (MTS) arranged by Raiffeisen banking group (RaiffeisenbankAustria, ZAO and Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich AG) jointly with ABNAMRO, ING and HSBC as its“EEMEA Emerging Market Loan of the Year”. The award was presented at a Gala Event in London on Monday, the 10th of January 2005.

The three-year loan was the first unsecured large Russian corporate loanoutside the commodity sector. It was underwritten by a syndicate of 24banks. The facility, which was initially launched at USD 500 mln, washeavily oversubscribed to reach USD 600 mln. The deal was priced at 250basis points over LIBOR.

Michel Perhirin, Chairman of the Managing Board of Raiffeisenbankremarked:“The award for Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) syndication, one of the largest Russian telecom providers, is a good achievement for Raiffeisenbank. We are grateful to MTS for granting us the loan organizational mandate. This syndication facility confirms the leading positionsof Raiffeisenbank on the debt capital market. More than 70% of our clients and borrowers are large and middle-sized Russian companies, which we provide with financing locally in Russia and on the international markets.”

Raiffeisenbank is one of the leading arrangers on the local syndicationmarket. During 2001-2004 the Bank acted as an arranger of a number ofsyndicated loans to Russian borrowers in the sphere of retail trade,energy sector, metallurgy, commercial real estate and banking totalingto over USD 1.5 bln of which USD 600 mln was in 2003-2004. Among themare five syndicated loans organized for the Russian banks jointly withRaiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich AG totaling to over USD 190 mln.

Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) is the largest mobile telecom operator inRussia and the CIS. Together with its subsidiaries, the company providesits services to over 28.9 million customers. Its unrivalled networkcovers 87 out of 89 Russian regions as well as the Ukraine, Belarus andUzbekistan. In August 2004, MTS entered the Uzbek market through theacquisition of the largest local mobile telecom company.

Titled“the capital markets favorite newssheet” by the Economist, International Financing Review is a globally leading source of international capital markets intelligence. Published weekly in print and on the web, IFR provides in-depth coverage of developments in global financing markets, including analysis of all international bond, syndicated loan, leveraged finance, high-yield debt, emerging market, equity and convertible issues, as well as developments in the derivatives market. It is read by all major banks, brokers, investors, corporate and government borrowers.

Vienna-based Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich AG is the centralinstitution of the Raiffeisen Banking Group, Austria''s most powerfulbanking group. It is a leading corporate and investment bank in Austriaand also considers Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as its home market,where it operates, via Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG(Raiffeisen International), a network of 15 subsidiary banks with morethan 820 banking outlets, as well as two representative offices, in 16markets. RZB''s network banks rank among the three largest banks in eightCEE markets.

Raiffeisenbank Austria, ZAO is a subsidiary of Raiffeisen InternationalBank-Holding AG, has been working in Russia since 1996. RaiffeisenbankAustria, ZAO is one of the largest Russian banks (is ranked 11th interms of net assets, based on Q3 2004 results, CEA Interfax). Moody''sInterfax Rating Agency has assigned the long-term national scale creditrating to Raiffeisenbank Austria at Aaa (rus) and the short-term ratingat RUS-1. Moody''s Investors Service also assigned the following ratingsto the Bank: D Financial Strength Rating (FSR), Ba1 long-term and NPshort-term foreign currency deposit ratings.


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