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12. June 2007

Raiffeisen Zentralbank wins FT Sustainable Banking Award for Carbon Finance 

Raiffeisen Zentralbank (RZB), Austria's third largest bank, has won the FT Sustainable Banking Award for Carbon Finance.

RZB financed the first worldwide nitrous oxide (NO2) reduction project within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The flue gas treatment facility purchased under the project for a nitric acid plant in Abu Qir, Egypt is capable of filtering 99% of NO2 emissions. As one kilogramme of NO2 corresponds to 300 kilogramme of CO2 this means a reduction of 1.2 million tons of CO2. This project is the first project within the UN Clean Development Mechnism (CDM) in Egypt and the biggest greenhouse gas emission reduction project in Africa. The CDM allows for Carbon Emission Reduction Units (CERs) to be sold on the carbon trading market and RZB is the first bank to rely exclusively on the revenues of selling these CERs for the project back flows.

The FT Sustainable Banking Awards is a joint initiative by the Financial Times and the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC). It is designed to recognise banks that have shown leadership and innovation in integrating social, environmental and corporate governance obejectives into their operations. The jury chose the winners out of 151 entries from 100 banks from 51 countries. Winners include ABN Amro (sustainable bank of the year) and Deutsche Bank/Goldman Sachs (sustainable deal of the year).

Raiffeisen Zentralbank has a balance sheet total of GBP 80 billion and is the third largest bank in Austria. It is the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, has 12.5 million customers worldwide and major operations in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Russia. RZB has a branch office in London providing services for corporate customers and serving as a contact point for UK customers looking for banking services in the CEE region.