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28.12.2006

BA-CA acquires a 20 per cent interest in Russian bank IMB

Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA) has today finalised the acquisition of a 19.77 per cent shareholding of International Moscow Bank (IMB) from VTB Bank (France) SA (previously Banque Commerciale pour l’Europe du Nord-EUROBANK) for a price of US$395 million. BA-CA will also pay VTB Bank (France) SA approximately US$20 million for the capital increase subscribed by VTB in IMB earlier in December.

Pursuant to the agreement signed earlier this year by BA-CA and Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank (HVB), BA-CA is also expected to acquire HVB’s 70.26 per cent shareholding of IMB. Completion of this transaction is expected by the end of the first quarter of 2007.

Following the acquisition of the shareholdings held by VTB France and HVB, BA-CA will hold 90.03 per cent of IMB’s total share capital which corresponds to 95.19 per cent of IMB’s voting capital. Besides BA-CA, the only other remaining shareholder is the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

About IMB
International Moscow Bank was established in October 1989; it was the first international bank in Russia, with registration number 1. Creditanstalt was one of IMB's founders. Originally specializing in corporate banking, IMB has started to expand its activities to include retail banking. The bank has achieved strong growth over the past few years: in 2005, measured by total assets, the Russian banking market as a whole grew by 33 per cent while IMB's total assets increased by 53 per cent.

At present IMB is the ninth-largest bank in Russia, with total assets of US$ 7.7 billion (as at 30 September 2006). The bank currently employs some 1,800 staff and operates 45 branches, although IMB expects to significantly expand its distribution network in the medium term.

About Russia
With some 143 million inhabitants, Russia is the largest market in Central and Eastern Europe. In the years 2001 to 2005, Russia achieved real cumulative GDP growth of almost 35 per cent, making it one of the most dynamic markets worldwide. Russia's GDP is expected to grow by an average 6 per cent annually in the coming years.

About Bank Austria Creditanstalt and UniCredit Group
Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA) is the leading Austrian bank. Within UniCredit Group,
BA-CA is responsible for commercial banking in Central and Eastern Europe. The Group operates the largest international banking network in Central and Eastern Europe with over 3,000 branches. It has more than 60,000 employees looking after some 24 million clients.

With a current market capitalization of approximately €70 billion, ranking among the top financial groups in Europe, UniCredit has a presence in 20 countries worldwide, with over 35 million clients and 7,000 branches, approximately 142 thousand employees and total assets of approximately €822 billion as of 30 September 2006.

Enquiries: Bank Austria Creditanstalt  International PR
Ildiko Füredi-Kolarik, tel. +43 (0) 50505 56102
e-mail: ildiko.fueredi@ba-ca.com