The Banker, the esteemed financial sector magazine published by the FinancialTimes Group, has awarded Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG (RZB) and itssubsidiary Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG jointly the title „Bank ofthe Year“ in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) for 2008. This year's awardmarks the fifth time that The Banker has recognized the RZB Group as the leadingbank in CEE.

„We are honoured and delighted to have been selected again as Bank of theYear by The Banker. This prestigious award underlines our excellent strategicposition in this region as well as our sustainable business model and entails anobligation to service our customers even better“, stated Walter Rothensteiner,the Chairman of both RZB's Managing Board and RaiffeisenInternational's Su­pervisory Boar­d.

„By providing both retail and corporate financial services and productsacross 17 markets, Raiffeisen International is very well diversified – andwe are confident that this diversification will help us to weather the currentmarket turbulence and emerge from it in an even stronger position“, addedHerbert Stepic, CEO of Raiffeisen International.

The Bank of the Year titles awarded by The Banker are among the mostprestigious accolades in the financial industry and are presented for differentregions, individual countries and a range of business categories. The selectionprocess takes into account qualitative criteria such as asset growth andprofitability, as well as the development and implementation of state-of-the-arttechnical infrastructure and future-oriented strategies.

WIOF would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Raiffeisen on itssuccess and that may it continue to build on this into the future. For moreinformation on Raiffeisen International go to http://ri.co.at/