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Emerging Europe - Best financial borrower

MDM Financial

MDM Financial, one of the most interesting banks in the crowded Russian banking sector, has prepared itself for activity in the equity markets later this year with several international debt transactions.

MDM has always been ahead of the Russian banking pack in its debt transactions. It was one of the few Russian banks to meet all its debt obligations after 1998. In 2001, it raised the first uncollateralized loan for a Russian bank since the 1998 crisis. But even by its own high standards, the past 12 months have been busy.

The bank has launched three loans and extended another loan facility; issued a $125 million Eurobond, and tapped it for a further $75 million; and set up a $300 million commercial paper facility. It also obtained a ratings upgrade in October 2002 from Standard & Poor's, from triple C + to B-, making it the highest-rated private bank in Russia. No other financial institution in the region has been nearly as active in the international debt markets.

A lot of this is thanks to the energy of Alexandre Kotcherguine, head of international business development at MDM Financial. Kotcherguine has rapidly expanded MDM Financial's foreign debt activity since he joined the bank two years ago from Renaissance Capital.

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