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Vneshtorgbank and Fitch Ratings sign an Agreement

8 February 2006

February 8, 2006, London - Vneshtorgbank and Fitch Ratings international rating agency signed an Agreement to provide rating services for the VTB Group.

For Vneshtorgbank the Agreement was signed by Aleksey Akinshin, Deputy Chairman, and for Fitch Ratings - by David Sweeney, Senior Director.

The Agreement signed is reflective of another important step made in increasing transparency of the VTB Group activities against the backdrop of the new strategic challenges of corporate development the Group currently faces and enhanced relationship with various groups of investors. Among other things, rating support by Fitch Ratings shall facilitate further expansion of the VTB Group into the international financial markets, and shall help both Vneshtorgbank and its subsidiaries raise funds needed for the Russian economy.

Presently, Vneshtorgbank is a recognized leader of the Russian financial segment in trans-border fund raising. Totally, the volume of untied financial resources raised has exceeded $5 billion. To achieve that, VTB has relied on its international ratings, including those by Fitch Ratings, which are the highest ratings ever awarded to the Russian banks.

Commenting the Agreement, Aleksey Akinshin said: "Ratings  from international rating agencies are absolutely necessary for global financial market participants, among which is Vneshtorgbank, to be  recognized at the world level. The VTB Group Development Strategy provides for a wider spectrum and larger volume of our activities in these markets, including our borrowing program the volume of which for the current year is more than $6 billion. We underpin our plans by the Agreement signed, among other things."

For reference: International rating agency Fitch Ratings is one of the leading agencies in the world. By 2005-year results, It has for the six time over the last seven years been recognized the best rating agency by the International Securitization Report readers.

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