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RZB, as mandated arranger, has signed banks into an increased US$20mn six-month extension of the US$13mn facility of December 12, 2003 on behalf of Bank Caspian JSC.

All, except one, existing lenders have agreed to extend, some increased their participations. In addition new lenders have joined. Consequently, the transaction was closed oversubscribed by almost 50%.

Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank is lead manager.

Union Bank of California is manager, with Abanka Vipa, Adria Bank, American Express Bank, Bankgesellschaft Berlin, Bank of Montreal, Bank of Overseas Chinese, BRE Bank, Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China, First International Merchant Bank, Israel Discount Bank of New York, Mashreqbank psc, Parex banka, and an undisclosed investor.

The tenor of the extension is 180 days after June 9, 2004 with bullet repayment. The margin decreased by 25bp to 3% per year. Fees remain undisclosed. Participation amounts of US$1, US$2mn and US$3mn respectively were offered.

Bank Caspian is currently one of the fastest growing banks in Kazakhstan. Bank Caspian JSC was originally established in 1991 and merged with KazdorBank in 1997.

The bank holds a general banking licence issued by the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan. At the end of 2003, the bank’s total equity amounted to US$40mn and as of April 1, 2004, the bank’s equity was US$43.2mn.

In addition the bank placed over US$50mn of seven-year subordinated bonds in the local market during 2003-04, which contributes to its second-tier capital.

The bank’s total assets at the end of 2003 were US$382mn and as of April 1, 2004 its assets amounted to US$401mn.