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31.08.2004

THE EUROPEAN BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT AND THE CENTER-INVEST BANK – THE NEW PERSPECTIVES OF GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT FOR THE SOUTH OF RUSSIA

On August 31, 2004 an official subscription of the Agreement between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the OJSC “CB Center-invest” took place in the Directors Club of the Center-Invest bank.

Under the Agreement the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development acquires the right for acquisition of the additional issue of shares of the OJSC “CB Center-invest”, while the Center-invest bank gets the back-up line from the European bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The decision about the entry of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in the list of main shareholders of the Center-invest bank and the apportionment of the credit line to the Rostov Bank for crediting small and average business was approved by the Committee of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on July 23, 2004. All official procedures preceding the subscription of the official text of the Agreement by the Director of Financial Institutions Department of the EBRD Mr. Kurt Geiger and the President of the Center-invest bank Mr. Vassili V. Vysokov were passed in shortest time.

The Subscription agreement confirms the acquisition by the EBRD of the additional issue of 9.6 millions of shares of the OJSC “CB Center-invest” of the nominal value of 10 rubles each. As a result of this deal the share of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in the total volume of voting shares has reached 25.23%.

In the framework of the Loan agreement the EBRD opens the $5 million back-up line for 5 years to the OJSC “CB Center-invest” for crediting small and average – scale businesses of the Southern Federal District of the Russian Federation. Let's remind that the Center-Invest bank is already taking part in the Trade Development Program of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Within the bounds of this trade financing cooperation program The Loan Agreement and The Guarantee Granting Agreement for $5 millions were signed between the Center-invest bank and the EBRD in 2002. In the year of 2003 the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has expanded the Credit and the Guarantee lines up to $8 millions.

Upon the words of Mr. Kurt Geiger, all of the information about the Center-invest bank was carefully analyzed in London before taking the final decision about the cooperation and therefore he was very well informed about the high rate of growth and steady positions of the bank in the South of Russia. But after the direct acquaintance with the Center-invest's management and staff he was especially impressed by the high level of proficiency, young age and aggressive market positioning (in good meaning of it) of the bank's team. This can be taken for the evidence of the great potency and development perspectives of the OJSC “CB Center-invest”.

The appearance of a large bank with the participation of the international capital in the Southern Federal District of the Russian Federation will render an opportunity for the population of the area to get the full scale of the modern banking products, available to private clients in Europe. The attraction of the international resources will help the enterprises of the South of Russia to fulfill both technical and technological reequipment for a new spurt in development.