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EUROMONEY Invited Center-Invest to Vienna

    The Euromoney Magazine sponsored the Forum of Central and East European Issuers and Investors held on 16-17 January in Vienna. That was the first European meeting at such a high level after Christmas. The Forum was attended by a record number of participants - more than 800. The only representative of the Russian South was Prof.V.V.Vysokov, Vice President of the Center-Invest Bank, who was invited as the author of the article published in the October issue of the Euromoney Magazine under the title of 'The Center-Invest: a Russian Bank Working to International Standards'.

    The general impression of the Forum is that the smaller Central and East European countries, such as Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, and the Baltic states are now equal partners in the European affairs. This is due not only to the political changes in these countries, but also to the fact that they were able, within a short time, to make their investment laws clearcut. More than 30% of the banking capital in these countries is represented by large international finance groups. Now the Central and East European countries face the common problem of integration into the European Community, which will affect both the commercial and the central banks in these countries.

    The principal intrigue of the discussion on investments into the Russian economy in the beginning of the new millennium consists in whether Russia will pay the debts to the Paris Club or not. The message of the speech made by S.Pakhomov, the Chief of the Moscow City Municipal Loans Committee was that to pay would be not only necessary, but also beneficial. The experience of Moscow shows that the investors' trust is easy to lose, but hard to win back.

    The Forum was attended by mainly portfolio investors: pension and investment funds not only from the Western, but even from the African countries. The delegation of the Center-Invest had very important meetings with the foreign investors and the representatives of the Russian finance capital. The Bank's experience of investing into and the pre-investment preparation of the Rostov enterprises was highly appreciated by the participants in the Forum, including Ms.T.Paramonova, Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia.

    It was not by chance that Vienna was chosen as the venue for the Russian bankers. There is an interesting joint project for an Internet portal for the investors interested in cooperation with Russia. The Center-Invest participates in this project on the basis of the technical and intellectual resources of the Center-Internet information and educational complex.