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BA-CA completes the acquisition from HVB of the Russian bank IMB

  • Acquisition of the majority stake of one of the Russian top-banks closed today
  • Erich Hampel: “clear aim to grow in Russia”

Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA) has, today at 11:11 o’clock, completed the  acquisition of the majority interest held in International Moscow Bank (IMB) by HVB. This transaction constitutes a further step in the reorganisation of UniCredit Group, within which BA-CA is responsible for the commercial banking in Central and Eastern Europe.

BA-CA's CEO Erich Hampel: "With IMB, we are gaining one of the most important banks in what is arguably the most important market in Central and Eastern Europe. It is our clear aim to grow vigorously in Russia and therefore we will support IMB’s expansion targets.”

HVB has sold its interest of 70.26 per cent in International Moscow Bank (IMB) to
BA-CA in cash for a price totalling € approx. 1 billion. BA-CA has recently acquired also the 19.77 per cent interest in IMB held by VTB Bank France. Following the acquisition of the shareholdings held by VTB France and HVB, BA-CA holds now 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).

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. IMB will be fully consolidated within BA-CA as of 1 January 2007.

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 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.

Requests: Bank Austria Creditanstalt
Peter N. Thier, Tel. +43 (0)50505 52371, E-Mail: peter.thier@ba-ca.com