Savings Bank ownership transfer to the Raiffeisen Bank

Publication date: 15.04.2004


The Governor of the Bank of Albania, Mr. Shkëlqim Cani met today with Mr. Herbert Stepic Deputy Chairman of RZB's Managing Board, representative of the Savings Bank shareholder.

In his speech, the Governor said that the Bank of Albania appreciates the Savings Bank privatization and its take over by a well-known bank such as the Raiffeisen. He added: "Considering the relevance of the Savings Bank in our banking system as well as the historical role it has played in the Albanian public savings, its take over by a credible, financially sound and with the adequate experience investor in banking network is of a great importance." Mr. Cani, having made his congratulations on the start of their banking activity in Albania, introduced and presented the RZB representatives the two Supervisory Council decisions on the shift of the Savings Bank ownership from the Albanian Government to the Raiffeisen and lifting the lending restriction put on the Savings Bank.

Mr. Stepic expressed his gratitude to the Albanian authorities for having entrusted them the largest bank of the system. He added that the cooperation with the Bank of Albania would be closer in various areas and incentives to be taken for the further enhancement and consolidation of the banking system.

Pursuant to the Decision "On approving the sale of 100 per cent share in the Savings Bank's capital" the Bank of Albania approved the transfer of the Savings Bank share from the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Albania to the Raiffeisen Zentralbank, Österreich Aktiengesellschaft. The application based on the Law No. 8365, dated 02.07.1998, "On banks in the Republic of Albania" and on the Regulation "On granting the license for the conduct of banking activity in the Republic of Albania", was accompanied by the relevant documentation.

According to the documentation submitted, the Raiffeisen Zentralbank, Österreich Aktiengesellschaft will be the owner of 100 per cent share in the Bank's capital. The Ministry of Finance and the Raiffeisen Zentralbank, following an open international tender, signed the sale contract between the parties on 13.01.2004. The Raiffesin Zentral Bank, Austria - founded in 1927 - is a leading commercial and investment bank in Austria and Central and Eastern Europe. The RZB activity network consists of big companies, treasury and bank investment, retail banking, transfers services, shareholding and more. RZB has been acknowledged by important international rating agencies such as the Standard & Poor's and Moody's, and awarded international prices by Global Finance" and "The Banker" renowned magazines.

The Supervisory Council, apart from approving the share ownership transfer of the Savings Bank to the Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich Aktiengesellschaft, approved the restart of crediting activity by this bank.
The Bank of Albania restricted the crediting activity to the Savings Bank with the aim of preventing the deterioration of its assets quality and maintaining its value until its privatization.
The Supervisory Council of the Bank of Albania, in its decision No.74, dated 05.09.2001, "On lifting bad loans limit versus the bank's total loans" decided to continue the suspension of the lending activity for the Savings Bank until its privatization process was completed.
Now that the new owner was approved by the Bank of Albania and the contract on the sale of the Savings Bank's 100 per cent share became effective, the privatization process is considered completed.

Thus, the Supervisory Council abrogated the above-mentioned restriction. Once the Raiffeisen Zentralbank becomes legally the Savings Bank shareholder, it will conduct its activity pursuant to the license granted by the Bank of Albania, without any restrictions. After the meeting, Mr Cani and Mr. Stepic gave a pronouncement for the media.