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01.02.2008

Two awards for UniCredit Bulbank in Bulgaria

  • UniCredit Bulbank is ranked best custodian bank for the third time
  • Best Banker in Bulgaria is UniCredit Bulbank CEO Levon Hampartzoumian

The international magazine Global Custodian ranked UniCredit Bulbank in Bulgaria first in the category of best custodian banks of the country. UniCredit Bulbank is part of UniCredit Group. The bank achieved the first position in all three categories from the prestigious survey – “Local Clients”, “Foreign Clients” and “Leading Clients”. Thus, UniCredit Bulbank is the indisputable leader in custodian services in the country. It takes the first place in the classification for the third year.

One of the strong sides noted in the grading is the good knowledge of the financial markets in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). This is the benefit of a large and unique network offered by UniCredit Group as the clearly leading banking group in CEE. With more than 30 years experience in the region UniCredit Group is able to offer special services in all the countries tailored to the needs of the individual customer. With around 3.700 branches and around 76.000 employees the CEE network enables a comprehensive service for all 27 million customers.

A further outstanding award was given to the Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of UniCredit Bulbank, Levon Hampartzoumian. He received this year’s Burov Foundation Award for bank management in Bulgaria. The Burov Foundation is the first non-profit organization in Bulgaria, founded in 1992, working in the area of banking and industry. The mission of the foundation is to preserve the ideas and the achievements of the famous Bulgarian banker and politician Atanas Burov from 19th century and to pass them on to the current and future generations.

Short economic outlook on Bulgaria for 2008
Bulgaria’s economic fundamentals remain strong, despite inflationary pressures and high external imbalances. GDP growth is estimated to have increased by a real 6.2% last year, on the back of lively consumption and a booming investment demand underpinned by recent EU accession. The capacity of the economy to create new jobs has also significantly improved, bringing the unemployment rate to less than 7% in 2007. These good fundaments are further supported by a strong creditworthiness of the Bulgarian economy.

Thus, the short-term to medium-term economic outlook remains positive. 2008 is anticipated to be another year of robust growth, with real GDP forecasted to increase by 5.9% yoy, despite rising vulnerabilities and a deteriorated international scenario. This is also reflected internationally as Bulgaria was ranked 62 in the most recent Index of Economic Freedom. The results are indicative that Bulgaria has a very supportive business environment in a number of areas including: taxation, privatization, labor market flexibility, restructuring of the financial system and liberalization of prices, capital movement and foreign trade.

About UniCredit Group
UniCredit has a presence in 23 countries, with over 40 million clients and 9,000 branches, approximately 170,000 employees and total assets of approximately €1,018 billion (pro forma) as of 30 June 2007.
Through the merger with Capitalia, effective as of 1 October 2007, UniCredit has significantly strengthened its presence in Italy, which is one of its core markets alongside Germany, Austria and CEE.
In the CEE region, UniCredit operates the largest international banking network with over 3,700 branches and outlets, where more than 76,000 employees serve approximately 27 million customers.

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Communications CEE
Silvana Lins
Phone: +43 (0) 50505 56036
E-mail : silvana.lins@ba-ca.com