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Vneshtorgbank continues to extend its subsidiaries' network in the CIS

19 January 2005

An official visit to Georgia by Vneshtorgbank delegation headed by President & CEO of VTB, Andrey Kostin started today. Within the framework of the visit Andrey Kostin was received by President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili.

A wide spectrum of issues was discussed during the meeting, involving trade and economic cooperation between the two countries and their financial interaction. President of Georgia and Head of VTB came to an agreement that there is a huge growth potential of the partnership between Russia and Georgia, especially in the sphere of large-scale Russian investments into the economy of Georgia.

Andrey Kostin also met with Prime Minister of Georgia, Zurab Zhvania. There was a comprehensive exchange of opinions on the prospects of cooperation between the financial institutions of both countries.

After the meetings with the leaders of the Republic of Georgia, Andrey Kostin and General Manager of the United Georgian Bank, Irakli Mekvabishivili held a joint press conference where it was announced that Vneshtorgbank had actually acquired controlling stock interest in the UGB.

Acquisition of the United Georgian Bank is a further advance in implementing Vneshtorgbank`s Development Strategy whereong the priorities set is the expansion of subsidiary banks` network in the CIS states. Being a leader in the Republic`s banking industry, the UGB is ranked 3d in terms of its assets worth USD 87.8 million. The Bank has a countrywide regional network embracing about 50 branches and offices. The acquisition of the controlling interest in the UGB which has a solid customer base, including SMEs, shall open a wider access to the banking market of Georgia.

Andrey Kostin is reported to say that `UGB entering the VTB Group will help VTB notably enhance its competitiveness in servicing foreign economic relations of the CIS states, particularly, those between Russia and Georgia".

In the year 2005, the VTB Group operating in the post-Soviet space is represented by its subsidiary bank in Armenia, a bank to be opened in Ukraine and a representative office in Byelorussia. Continuing to implement its development strategy, VTB is set to further activate its operations on the banking markets of Byelorussia, Kazakhstan and other CIS states.

For reference:
The United Georgian Bank was established on April 7, 1995 through the merger of some commercial banks of Georgia, namely: Industrial Bank, Exim Bank and New Georgian Bank (former Savings Bank). The authorized capital of UGB is 21 million Georgian Laries.
Among the Bank`s shareholders are EBRD, with a 17.8% interest in the authorized capital, Martin Bauer GmbH, a German company with an 18,1% interest and residents holding 64.1%.

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