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Bank Center-Invest (Russia) successfully closes a 3 year USD 45 million syndicated loan

Bank Center-Invest (Rostov-on-Don, Russia), the largest regional bank in Southern Russia, today closed a USD 45 million syndicated loan. The loan was significantly oversubscribed and increased from USD 30 million up to USD 45 million to meet demand.

Structured and arranged by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development under it’s A/B structure, the EBRD USD 15 million A loan will have a maturity of three years, while the USD 30 million B loan provided by participating banks will have a maturity of 18 months, with an option to extend by a further 18 months. The B Loan was priced at LIBOR + 2.30%.

“The successful closing of this international syndicated loan marks an important step in positioning Bank Center-Invest - as well as the South of Russia - in the global economy,” said Dr. Vasily Vysokov, President of the Bank Center-Invest. “As the mandated arranger, EBRD has greatly facilitated the introduction of the bank to the international capital markets”, he added.

The syndicated loan will support Bank Center-Invest in financing small and medium-sized enterprises, consumer and mortgage loans, energy efficiency and agricultural modernization projects in the region.

Jean Marc Peterschmitt, EBRD Director, Bank Relationships, Financial Institutions, said: “We are proud to play a role in leading Bank Center-Invest into the syndicated loan market and delighted that the bank has established new relationships with leading financial institutions from different countries. It was encouraging that the loan was significantly oversubscribed.”

Established in 1992, privately-owned Bank Center-Invest serves a region of 22 million people that accounts for around 10% of Russia’s Gross Domestic Product. The bank has 88 branches, offices and cash desks across the region, serving 22890 clients. As of 30 June 2006, the bank’s equity portfolio is RUR 2.1 billion, assets RUR 16.6 billion, loan portfolio RUR 11.6 billion and customer deposits RUR 5.9 billion.

The following financial institutions have participated in the syndicated loan facility: Anglo-Romanian Bank Limited, Banco BPI Cayman Ltd, Bank Austria Creditanstalt (member of UniCredit Group), Bankgesellschaft Berlin AG, Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft, Intesa Bank Ireland plc, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Limited (London Branch), National City Bank, Rabobank International, Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederösterreich-Wien AG, Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich Aktiengesellschaft, Standard Bank Plc, State Bank of India (Los Angeles Agency) and WGZ-Bank AG Westdeutsche Genossenschafts-Zentralbank.

Bank Center-Invest shareholders are the EBRD 25%, DEG (KfW Group) 21%, Ltd “Service” 9%, Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberöstereich 4% and Management 26%.