EBRD lends $150 million to Raiffeisen Bank Aval

By Anton Usov

The EBRD is providing a subordinated loan of $150 million to Raiffeisen Bank Aval JSC, a subsidiary of Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG, the third largest bank in Ukraine. This project is part of the EBRD's previously-announced €150 million long-term financing programme for Raiffeisen International‘s network banks in Ukraine, Romania and Russia.

The ten-year subordinated loan will support Raiffeisen Bank Aval's capital base thus boosting the bank’s overall financial strength.

This latest EBRD loan is a continuation of its support for the Ukrainian banking sector during the financial crisis, which has reached over $700 million since the beginning of 2009.

Raiffeisen Bank Aval, which has over 1,000 business outlets across Ukraine, services nearly 4.8 million customers in both the corporate and private individual segments.

"This subordinated loan provides additional proof of the deep commitment that both Raiffeisen International and the EBRD have to the CEE region. By providing Raiffeisen Bank Aval with additional resources, this transaction also serves to strengthen Ukraine's banking sector and benefits the country's economy," said Herbert Stepic, CEO of Raiffeisen International.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is the biggest financial investor in Ukraine. As of 1 November 2009, it had committed €4.2 billion through 194 projects.

Raiffeisen International operates one of the largest banking networks in CEE, covering 17 markets across the region through subsidiary banks, leasing companies and a range of other financial service providers. The group's nearly 59,000 employees service around 15 million customers via more than 3,100 business outlets. Raiffeisen International is a fully-consolidated subsidiary of Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG (RZB), which owns about 70 per cent of the common stock. The remainder is in free float, with the shares listed 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.