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A/S Latvijas Unibank (LVUD)

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Wednesday 17 November, 1999

A/S Latvijas Unibank

Syndicated Loan

A/S Latvijas Unibanka
17 November 1999


Contact:  Veronique Cassegrain
Tel:      +44 171 338 7237

EBRD AND BANKGESELLSCHAFT BERLIN STRENGTHEN LATVIAN PRIVATE SECTOR THROUGH
SYNDICATED LOAN

To support the growth of private sector enterprises in Latvia, the European Bank
for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Bankgesellschaft Berlin AG  (BGB)
have jointly arranged a syndicated loan of EUR 30 million to Latvijas  Unibanka,
Latvia's second-largest bank. The EBRD will provide a five-year loan of EUR 10
million for its own account, and a group of commercial banks will provide EUR 20
million with a three-year maturity.

'The EBRD's syndicated transaction is the first loan to a Latvian bank since the
Russian  crisis,'  said  Kurt  Geiger, the EBRD's Business Group Director for
Financial Institutions.  'This  project will make a great contribution to
rebuilding confidence in the market, and to convincing international investors
that there are worthwhile investments in Latvia's financial sector.' He added:
'As one of the leading banks in Latvia, Unibanka needs to maintain its financial
position and its ability to retain the confidence of the population.  This is
important for the health of the local banking and private enterprise  sectors.
This project will, therefore, strengthen a key player in the Baltic economy, and
will support Unibanka in meeting the demand for medium-term financing from the
private sector.'

'Thanks  to  the  successful  partnership between the  joint-arrangers  of  this
financing, six commercial banks are participating in this syndicated loan,' said
Tero  Halmari,  Senior Syndications Manager at the EBRD.  'We  appreciate this
demonstration of trust towards Latvia and especially towards Unibanka.'

Unibanka will use the proceeds of the loan to extend its private sector  lending
activities  and to increase its support for small and medium-sized  enterprises.
 The six participating banks are Bankgesellschaft Berlin AG, Landesbank
Schleswig Holstein  -  Girozentrale,  Banque  et Caisse d'Epargne  de l'Etat
Luxembourg, American Express Bank Ltd., Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich
Aktiengesellschaft and DG Bank Deutsche Genossenschaftsbank.

'The  capital  market in Latvia and in the Baltic region generally is  reviving.
 After  the  collapse  in  August  1998 and the subsequent difficult investment
climate  more and more syndicated facilities for borrowers in this  region  have
been placed  successfully.  The strong demand for this  transaction  from the
international financial community is another proof of  a  strong  upturn', said
Hagen Sinodoru, Deputy Head of Syndication at BGB.

Andris  Berzins, President of Unibanka, said: 'Latvia is currently restructuring
its economy.  Medium and long-term loans are vitally important to support this
process.'  He continued: 'This facility will allow Unibanka to access resources
which are not yet available in Latvia and to provide  medium and long-term
funding to local businesses. In this way it will contribute to  the country's
economic recovery.'

Unibanka was founded in September 1993 as a state-owned commercial bank, and was
formed  by  the consolidation of a number of branches of the Bank of Latvia.  It
was partly privatised with EBRD support in early 1996 and its shares were listed
on the Riga Stock Exchange.

Bankgesellschaft Berlin AG was formed in 1993 as a holding company combining
Berliner Bank AG, Landesbank Berlin and Berlin Hyp. Bankgesellschaft Berlin AG
is the leading arranger for syndicated loan facilities for financial
institutions in the Baltic region.

The  EBRD was set up in 1991 following the collapse of communism, to aid the
transition  from  centrally  planned to market economies in central and
eastern  Europe  and  the  CIS. The EBRD is owned by 60 shareholders: 58
countries, the European Investment Bank and the European Community, and
operates with EUR 20 billion in capital.

Visit the EBRD's website at: www.ebrd.com

                              

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