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Moody's raises Vneshtorgbank's rating

18 October 2004

The authoritative international rating agency Moody`s Investor Services announced a review of the long-term forecast rating of Vneshtorgbank in terms of long-term deposits on the foreign exchange. The forecast rating, set at Ba1, has come as a positive change.

The review of Vneshtorgbank`s rating and its promissory obligations followed the announcement by Moody`s agency of the increase to the highest value (so called `ceiling`) rating for long-term bank depositsong Russian banks. The assignment to Vneshtorgbank of these ratings to a sovereign ceiling reflects the role Vneshtorgbank plays as the backbone of the Russian banking sector, and the high level of support it receives from its main shareholder - the Government of the Russian Federation. The ratings determined by Moody`s also take into account the positive financial indications of Vneshtorgbank`s activities and the bank`s significant level of capital.

Moody`s also raised the rating of Vneshtorgbank`s USD2 billion programme for the issuance of medium term participation notes. The fourth launch by the company VTB Capital S.A., Luxemburg of a series of Eurobonds for approximately USD1.6 billion raised their rating from Baa3 to Baa2. This rating level, the highest for Russian issuers, will enable the effective continuation of Vneshtorgbank`s credit programme on the international financial market with the aim of realising the VTB development strategy which foresees an increase in the financing of the Russian economy, including the development of the mortgage and consumer credit for the population, and the support of small businesses.

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