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Eurobank EFG's dynamic presence in South-East Europe

Eurobank EFG

Talent knows no frontiers

EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA is one of the most dynamic banks in Greece. Today, Eurobank's financial reach also extends to the emerging markets of South-East Europe. Through its subsidiary and affiliate banks in Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Eurobank provides modern financial services and products throughout the region. Bulgarian Post Bank AD, Eurobank's affiliate in Bulgaria, is the fifth largest bank in the country with 120 branches. Eurobank's Romanian subsidiary, Banc Post SA, has over 160 branches providing financial services to more than two million customers. In Serbia, Eurobank has recently acquired a bank now named EFG Eurobank, a.d., Beograd.

South-East Europe is a new region of opportunity and Eurobank is ready to support businesses and customers across this emerging European frontier, by providing innovative financial products and services.

First established in 1990 as Euromerchant Bank, EFG Eurobank Ergasias today is Greece's leader in consumer lending, asset management, investment banking and capital markets and is part of the Geneva-based EFG Bank Group.

A few key events in Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia
2001 Acquisition of a 19.25% participation in Banc Post SA, Romania
2002 Participation in Banc Post Romania raised to 35.25%
2002 Acquisition of 50% in Alico / CEH Balkan Holdings Ltd. leads to a 43% participation in Post Bank Bulgaria
2003 Acquisition of a 68% controlling stake in Post Banka AD, Serbia
2003 Participation in Banc Post Romania raised to 53.25%
2003 Participation in Postbanka AD Serbia increased to 90.8%, legal entity renamed to EFG Eurobank, a.d., Beograd
2003 Agreement with American Life Insurance Company (ALICO) to acquire from the latter its 50% stake in Cyprus-registered ALICO/CEH Balkan Holdings Ltd. (ACBH), owner of 91.71% of the shares of Bulgarian Post Bank AD

Eurobank is working to actively participate and contribute to the transformation of regional economies, in their course towards integration with the European Union (EU). In 2003, the Group undertook significant strategic initiatives to further expand and strengthen its presence in selected markets in the region, mainly in countries aspiring to join the EU, through acquiring management control of universal banks and developing retail banking operations. More specifically, in 2003:

  • In Romania: the Group raised its stake in Banc Post SA to 53.25% by acquiring Banco Português de Investimento (BPI)'s 17% holding and has the option to further raising its total participation to 62%. As a result, EFG Eurobank Ergasias obtained management control of Banc Post, which is fully consolidated into EFG Eurobank Ergasias' balance sheet since November 2002.

Banc Post's shareholder structure (end April 2004)
Shareholder Percentage
EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA (Greece) 53.25 (management control)
GE Capital Corporation (USA) 8.75
SIF Banat-Crisana (Romania) (*) 6.00
SIF Moldova (Romania) (*) 6.00
SIF Muntenia (Romania) (*) 6.00
SIF Oltenia (Romania) (*) 6.00
SIF Transilvania (Romania) (*) 6.00
 Individual shareholders 8.00
Source: Banc Post SA. (*) SIF Banat-Crisana, SIF Moldova, SIF Muntenia, SIF Oltenia and SIF Transilvania are five Romanian financial investment companies (SIF).
  • In Bulgaria: upon completion of its recent agreement with American International Group (AIG) to acquire a stake in Cyprus-based ALICO/CEH Balkan Holdings Ltd. (ACBH), EFG Eurobank Ergasias will control 92% of Bulgarian Post Bank AD. This agreement led to the full consolidation into EFG Eurobank Ergasias' balance sheet at the end of December 2003 of Banc Post, which had been consolidated under the equity method since September 2002.

  • In Serbia and Montenegro: EFG Eurobank Ergasias acquired a 68% stake in Postbanka AD, which was further increased to 91% via a capital increase. This bank has been renamed EFG Eurobank, a.d., Beograd.

In 2004, the Group maintains its clear focus on achieving strong growth rates and further enhancing its presence in both Greece and in South-East European markets. This successful strategy allows Eurobank to set for itself financial performance targets for 2004 and 2005. The Group aims at:

  • Revenue growth exceeding 14% per annum

  • Cost / Income ration below 53% at group level and below 50% for Greek operations in 2005

  • Return on Equity (ROE) to exceed 18% in 2005

  • Earnings per Share (EPS) growth to exceed 20% p.a.

  • Dividend per Share (DPS) growth of over 12% for each year

On December 23rd, 2003, EFG Eurobank Ergasias announced that it reached an agreement with American Life Insurance Company (ALICO) to acquire from the latter its 50% stake in Cyprus-based ALICO/CEH Balkan Holdings Ltd. (ACBH), owner of 91.71% of the shares of Bulgarian Post Bank AD.

Given that EFG Eurobank Ergasias already holds 50% of ACBH, through this acquisition the bank takes full control (100%) of ACBH.

The bank informed Greece's stock exchange authorities about this agreement on December 19th. Completion of the transaction is subject to approval by all appropriate regulatory authorities.

EFG Eurobank Ergasias has a vision to develop a presence in the wider region.

Eurobank's regional profile (figures as of end September 2003):

  • Greece: EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA, 300 branches, 6,811 employees

  • Romania: Banc Post SA, 161 branches, 3,444 employees (164 branches and 3,448 employees in December 2003)

  • Bulgaria: Bulgarian Post Bank AD, 120 branches, 1,102 employees

  • Serbia and Montenegro: EFG Eurobank, a.d., Beograd, 1 branch, 41 employees

Eurobank's total assets at the end of 2003:

  • Total Group Assets: EUR 28 billion (vs. EUR 24.6 billion at the end of 2002)

Ownership:

  • EFG Eurobank Ergasias is ultimately 41% owned by Geneva-based EFG Bank European Financial Group. The majority of shares is publicly held by over 360,000 private and institutional shareholders.

For further information, contact:

Greece
EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA
8, Othonos Street
GR-105 57 Athens
Greece
Tel.: +30 210 333 7000
Fax: +30 210 323 3866
URL (in Greek and English): www.eurobank.gr

Key executives:

  • Yannis Tegopoulos
    Head of Investor Relations
    EFG Eurobank Ergasias
    Tel. +30 210 337 1222
    E-mail: itegopoulos@eurobank.gr / investor_relations@eurobank.gr

  • Lyda Modiano-Leon
    Head of Communication & PR
    EFG Eurobank Ergasias
    Tel. +30 210 337 1062
    E-mail: lmodiano@eurobank.gr

  • Chairman: Xenophon C. Nickitas

  • Chief Executive Officer: Nicholas C. Nanopoulos

  • Honorary Chairman: George C. Gondicas

  • Deputy Chief Executive Officer: Nicholas B. Karamouzis

Romania
Banc Post SA
18, Libertatii Avenue
RO-B1 104 Bucharest 5
Romania
Tel.: +40 21 336 1124
Fax: +40 21 336 1125
URL (in Romanian and English): http://www.bancpost.ro/

Bulgaria
Bulgarian Post Bank AD
1, Bulgaria Square
BG-1414 Sofia
Bulgaria
Tel.: +359 2 963 2104
Fax: +359 2 951 6839
URL (in Bulgarian): http://www.postbank.bg/
Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board: Anthony C. Hassiotisis

Serbia and Montenegro
EFG Eurobank, a.d., Beograd
27. Marta 71a
SCG-11000 Belgrade
Serbia and Montenegro
Tel.: +381 11 337 6637, +381 11 337 6909
Fax: +381 11 337 6964, +381 11 337 6809
URL (in Serbian): http://www.efgeurobank.co.yu/

Sofia Hotel Balkan (formerly Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan), Sofia, Bulgaria

In the heart of Sofia, within walking distance from the business and commercial district and the government offices, the Sofia Hotel Balkan (formerly Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan) is recognised as the city's grand hotel and one of its architectural landmarks. The fourth-century St. George Rotunda -- located in the interior court between the hotel and the Presidential Palace, the streets of Roman Serdica, the relics of the medieval fortress of Sredetz are among Sofia's many historic jewels.

The 188 room and suite luxury hotel features two floors of Executive Rooms with private Lounge, 8 Smart Rooms and 30 Non-Smoking Rooms. An extraordinary range of guest services, free airport pick-up, gourmet dining at the Preslav and Balkan Restaurants, the Capital Bar and Casino make for an unforgettable stay.

Located on Sveta Nedelya Square, the Sofia Hotel Balkan boasts two twin Grand Ballrooms and other meeting space and offers the best and most versatile conference facilities in the city. The hotel is the ideal venue for conferences, meetings and special events.

Nestled beneath snow-capped mountain peaks, Sofia is the political, economic and cultural centre of Bulgaria. The streets of Roman Serdica, the relics of the medieval fortress of Sredetz, and the fourth-century St. George Rotunda are among Sofia's many historic jewels.

Part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.'s The Luxury Collection, the hotel was acquired by a consortium of Greek investors -- EFG Eurobank Ergasias and Axxon Bulgaria OOD and the N. Daskalantonakis Group -- in 2002 and is currently under management by two Bulgarian subsidiaries of the N. Daskalantonakis Group. Under the licencing agreement, the 5-star city centre hotel will  will remain part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts chain for at least 15 years.

In the first quarter of 2004, the Sofia Hotel Balkan reported an operating profit of BGN 749,000 compared to BGN 829,000 in Q1 2003. The hotel, which in 2003 reported after-tax earnings of BGN 3.222 million, will distribute a net dividend of BGN 1.615 per share (the local dividend tax is 15%) for fiscal year 2003.

Listed on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE-Sofia), the distinguished, luxury hotel is owned by the following Greek investors: the N. Daskalantonakis Group (46.92% through the Group's subsidiaries, International Lodging of Bulgaria (23.46%) and European Hotel Enterprises (23.46%)), EFG Eurobank Ergasias (6.7%), Access Bulgaria (15.89%) and free float (30.49%).

Useful links:

Sources: INVgr, INVbg.

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