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Deutsche Bank AG, London, RZB and Raiffeisenbank Ukraine have been jointly mandated lead arrangers by joint stock post-pension bank Aval to arrange a US$25mn syndicated trade-related term loan facility on its behalf. The transaction was launched into senior syndication on the May 17. The tenor is 364 days, and the funds will be used to finance specific trade-related transactions for Aval’s clients.

The loan carries an interest margin of 3.80% per year over Libor. In senior syndication, lenders will be offered participations of US$4mn and US$5mn. The fee levels will be 1.00% flat and 1.10% flat respectively, giving an all-in return of 4.80% per year to 4.90%.

Bank Aval is the largest bank in Ukraine in terms of total assets. As at December 31, 2003, Aval had net assets amounting to US$1.812bn. Total share capital at the same date was US$163mn.

Aval Bank is a member of the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme as issuing and confirming bank.

Ukraine’s sovereign long-term foreign currency rating was upgraded by Fitch Ratings to B+ on July 25, 2003. Ukraine’s foreign currency debt is B1 rated by Moody’s .

The Ukrainian economy expanded by 9.3% in 2003, after a 4.8% growth in 2002. This growth was based on a strong industrial output growth, especially in the construction and wholesale and retail trade sectors.