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Vneshtorgbank acquires a 98% stake in Mria commercial bank (Ukraine)

31 January 2006

An Agreement to acquire a participation in Mria commercial bank (Ukraine) by Vneshtorgbank was signed by Andrey Kostin, Chairman and CEO of Vneshtorgbank, within his visit to Ukraine on 31 January 2006. Under the Agreement, Vneshtorgbank shall acquire a 98% stake from shareholders of Mria bank.

Mria bank`s merging with the VTB Group is a further step forward in Vneshtorgbank`s strategy to gain stronger positions in the promising Ukrainian banking market. Being a major commercial bank in Ukraine, Mria bank together with Vneshtorgbank (Ukraine), which is VTB`s subsidiary, will foster efficient banking services for Russian companies operating in Ukraine, encourage cross-border settlements, and facilitate implementation of programmes aimed at promoting foreign trade between the two countries. In addition, the Agreement will become a sound base for the VTB Group business expansion to the high margin retail banking market in Ukraine.

According to Andrey Kostin, "this acquisition is in line with Vneshtorgbank`s strategy to develop a network of subsidiary banks in Europe and CIS. With its expanded regional network comprising more than 150 territorial offices and well-developed customer base, Mria will be most instrumental in expanding VTB Group`s business in Ukraine, particularly, in financing SMEs and servicing households".

At present, subsidiary banks based in Armenia and Georgia form part of VTB Group, which enables Vneshtorgbank to maintain strong leadership in servicing Russia`s foreign trade and that of other CIS economies.

Moreover, during the visit Andrey Kostin held business meetings with Ukrainian Parliament Speaker Vladimir Litvin and National Bank`s Governor Vladimir Stelmakh. In the course of the meetings, bilateral cooperation in investment banking, and outlook for further increase in trade turnover between the two countries were discussed. Mutual interest was emphasized in higher level of Russian investors` participation in the Ukrainian economy. Andrey Kostin also shared VTB Group`s plans to develop its subsidiary - Vneshtorgbank (Ukraine), which started its operation last spring.

For reference:

Mria bank was registered by the National Bank of Ukraine in November of 1992. The Bank is an official dealer of American Express and Thomas Cook; a member of Visa International, EUROPAY International, Association of Ukrainian Banks, Interregional Stock Exchange Association, Ukrainian Stock Exchange, and Kiev International Stock Exchange. Its shareholders include, in particular, Ukrainian Industrial-Investment Concern, Ukraine company, Kiy Avia, Roda Trade House, Vinnitsa confectionary and Garant Avto company. As at 1 December 2005, net assets of the bank were 1,801.5 million grivnas and its equity capital was 214.2 million grivnas. Throughout 11 months of 2005, net profit of the bank was 30.8 million grivnas. In January 2006, Fitch rating agency assigned Mria bank the long-term rating of "ССС+".

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