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Alfa Bank upgraded by Fitch to B with Positive Outlook

June 28, 2002. TAG: Financial Services

"The ratings upgrade reflects the growth in Alfa Bank's core earnings and an improvement in their quality, its rapid retail deposit growth and the favourable economic environment," Fitch said. "The Positive Outlook reflects Fitch's opinion that the Bank will continue to move closer to its stated objective of building a proper banking franchise, as well as the Agency's view that the Russian economy will continue to develop." Fitch said, however, that Alfa Bank's capitalisation remained on the low side despite a capital injection in 2001 and that costs remained high and short-term funding was restricting the Bank's ability to finance medium-term projects. The Agency noted the Bank was planning to extend the tenor of its funding with a eurobond issue in 2002. Alfa Bank is the largest private bank in Russia with assets of US $2.7 billion and shareholder equity of US $278 million. The Bank reported record profits in 2001 of US $85 million. Alfa Bank provides a full range of banking services - commercial banking, investment banking, asset management, trade finance and insurance. The Bank is rated B1 by Moody's, and CCC+ with positive outlook by S&P. Founded in 1990, Alfa Bank has more than 80 branches across Russia and fully licensed banking subsidiaries in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and the Netherlands. The Bank's fast growing brokerage business has a FSA authorised arm in London and a NASD registered Broker-Dealer in New York. Inside Russia, Alfa Bank is a leader in mergers and acquisitions and debt capital markets, and one of the biggest issuers of banking cards. The Bank also runs the country's largest mutual fund.

ABH Holdings S.A.

ABH Holdings S.A. (ABHH) is a privately owned Luxembourg-based holding company investing into several banking groups in the CIS and Europe. ABHH includes Alfa-Bank (Russia), Alfa-Bank (Ukraine), Ukrsotsbank (Ukraine), Alfa-Bank (Belarus), Alfa-Bank (Kazakhstan) and Amsterdam Trade Bank N.V. You can find more information on ABH Holdings S.A.'s website