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28.05.2010

Bank Austria Management Board Member Helmut Bernkopf Attends 60th Austrian Conference of Cities:
High demand for the relatively new "One Billion for Communities" initiative

  • In this year alone, Austria's market leader in municipal financing has already granted loans totalling roughly EUR 200 million to municipalities
  • Initiative helps to meet the increased demand for financing as a result of demographic developments, the unfavourable cost trend and the recession

Bank Austria's "One Billion for Communities" has enjoyed a very high level of demand. As a result, Austria's leading financial institution has provided around 100 loans with a volume of roughly EUR 200 million to Austrian municipalities in recent months. Helmut Bernkopf, the member of Bank Austria's Management Board responsible for Corporate & Investment Banking, presented this interim result today in a podium discussion at the 60th Austrian Conference of Cities in Villach. In the opinion of many experts, Austrian municipalities will require a total of EUR 1.5 billion in financing by 2013. The causes for this are demographic developments, an unfavourable cost trend and the recession.

According to Bank Austria Management Board Member Helmut Bernkopf: "The municipalities' room to manoeuvre is declining rapidly. This means that it is particularly important at the moment to stimulate the economy through investments in infrastructure and social measures and to create jobs. With our loan initiative, we are showing that we are not a fair-weather bank, but that we stand by our customers even during turbulent times."

The purpose of the "One Billion for Communities" is to fund everything from nursing homes and hospitals to transport routes and places of cultural interest, and it can also be made use of in the form of project financing or PPPs. The initiative is reinforced by an increase in advisory services regarding interest rate hedging, project structures and a medium-term finance plan. The refinancing for the "One Billion for Communities" is based on a public cover fund that received a AAA rating from Moody's. Thanks to UniCredit Group's access to refinancing, which is reflected not least in its issuing potential, Bank Austria is anticipating the planned mortgage bond issue and is already offering customers from the municipal sector these more favourable conditions now.

Market leader Bank Austria has been supporting the municipal sector for 20 years
Bank Austria has been supporting the municipal sector for 20 years. It created its special Public Sector unit to serve this customer group in 2005. With a transaction volume of EUR 14.6 billion, financing totalling EUR 7 billion and some 3,500 customers, Bank Austria is now the undisputed market leader in this segment on the basis of individual institutions.

Enquiries: Bank Austria Press Office Austria
 Tiemon Kiesenhofer, Tel. +43 (0) 50505 - 52819;
 E-mail: tiemon.kiesenhofer@unicreditgroup.at

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