The renowned financial sector publication Global Finance has chosen Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) as the regional winner of its "World's Best Emerging Markets Banks 2011 in Central and Eastern Europe" competition.
This year marks the fifth time in a row - and the seventh time in eight years - that Raiffeisen has won this prestigious distinction for its banking activities in CEE.
For the second year in a row, Global Finance has also selected Raiffeisen as the "Best Bank in Austria" as part of the magazine's "World's Best Developed Market Banks" awards. At the same time, the RBI subsidiaries Raiffeisen Bank d.d. Bosna i Hercegovina and Raiffeisenbank Kosovo J.S.C. were recognized by the publication as being the best banks in their respective local markets.
"Global Finance's 'Best Bank in CEE' award recognizes both the measures we undertook to adopt to the changed market environment, primarily by implementing an intragroup merger, as well as the unique strength of our presence in CEE," said Herbert Stepic, CEO of Raiffeisen Bank International.
"Winning the 'Best Bank in Austria' distinction underlines the success of our relationship-based approach to providing highly-developed and customized products to the country's leading corporations," added Karl Sevelda, Deputy Chairman of RBI's Managing Board and responsible for Corporate Banking.
"Global financial markets are extremely difficult and conditions in each market may have differed, but the banks we selected as winners were all noteworthy in their dedication to satisfying their customers' needs," stated Global Finance's publisher Joseph D. Giarraputo.
Global Finance will issue a full report on its Best Bank selections in its May issue, while Raiffeisen Bank International will publish full year 2010 figures for the banking group on April 8.
Continuing a record of success
Raiffeisen Bank International is one of the premier universal banking groups in CEE, where it operates an extensive network of subsidiary banks, leasing companies and a range of other specialised financial service providers in 17 markets. In Austria, RBI is a leading corporate and investment bank for the country's top 1,000 commercial customers. RBI's parent company Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG (RZB is the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group (RBG), the country's largest banking group.
Raiffeisen Bank International resulted from the October 2010 merger of RZB's spun-off principal business areas with Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG, the holding company that had controlled the RZB Group's subsidiaries in CEE.
RBI's network bank in Bosnia and Herzegovina received Global Finance's "Best Bank" award for the eighth consecutive time, while Raiffeisenbank Kosovo won this distinction for the second time in a row.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the balance sheet total of RBI stood at € 2.1 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2010, ranking it second in the local banking sector on this basis. Raiffeisen is represented throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina with 100 business outlets servicing more than 655,000 customers.
In Kosovo, Raiffeisen Bank International operates 51 branch outlets and reported a balance sheet total of €638 million at the end of the third quarter of 2010, making it Kosovo’s second-largest bank. During the first nine months of 2010, Raiffeisenbank Kosovo gained more than 32,000 new retail customers, helping to bring its overall customer base to nearly 270,000.