Shareholders demand clarity on Raiffeisen Bank’s business in Russia

Raiffeisen Bank paid 4.8 times more taxes to the Russian state budget in 2022 than in 2021.

The Austrian Association of Investors requires the management of Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) to make clear statements about further business in Russia.

“RBI’s board should clearly articulate its strategy on Russia at the annual shareholders’ meeting: either ‘withdrawal’ from Russia on terms acceptable to shareholders or ‘stay and explain’,” said Florian Beckermann, chairman of the board of the Austrian Investors Association.

He also noted that the “game of silence” by RBI’s management puts the bank in an increasingly dangerous position for its reputation.

The Austrian Investors Association noted that uncertainty about the future of RBI’s business in Russia has a negative impact on share trading and threatens the recovery of share prices.

The Ukrainian Agency for the Prevention of Corruption earlier added the Austrian banking group RBI to the list of international sponsors of the war because of its continued operations in Russia and the official recognition of the so-called DPR and LPR by the Russian government.

The Agency reported that the bank had taken advantage of sanctions that forced its competitors to leave the Russian market. In 2022, RBI paid 4.8 times more to the Russian budget than in 2021. This amount was €559 million. These funds are enough to buy 95 Kalibr missiles.

It is also noted that in 2022, RBI earned 60% of its profits in Russia – about €2 billion. At the same time, Russian law prohibits the transfer of dividends abroad, so the bank cannot withdraw this money from the country.

In addition, it was reported earlier that Raiffeisen Bank is negotiating with Russian Sberbank on an asset swap.

Earlier, it was reported that the European Central Bank is pressuring Austrian Raiffeisen Bank International to wind down its business and leave Russia.

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