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Banking: Raiffeisen enters a new era

Managers at Austrian bank RZB and its central and eastern European subsidiary, Raiffeisen International, hope that a merger between the two will help maintain its position as a market leader in the region. Sudip Roy talks to Herbert Stepic, who will lead the newly merged entity.


Herbert Stepic, Raiffeisen International

"There was a sense of fear, so the share price fell. Once we told them the exchange ratios, the share price jumped"

Herbert Stepic, Raiffeisen International

What’s the latest news with the merger?

Herbert Stepic, Raiffeisen International

We had assemblies on July 7 and 8 where the merger was approved. Also the details of the share exchange ratios were agreed during these two days. The free float will fall slightly from 27.2% to 21.5% and consequently RZB’s share in the new bank, which will be called Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), will increase from 72.8% to 78.5%.

The valuation of Raiffeisen was €49.30 a share, which is substantially higher than the prevailing price. Currently we are trading at around €35 a share. The free float owners have been treated very graciously. So all the formal decisions have been made. We are still waiting for registration with the companies registrar, which we expect in the fourth quarter – when exactly I don’t know because this depends on the judge’s time.

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