First International Bank Opens in Montenegro - George Soros' Economic Development Foundation Among Main Investors -

Jun 02, 2000, 01:00 ET from Soros Economic Development Foundation

    BRUSSELS, Belgium and NEW YORK, June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Minister of Finance
 Miroslav Ivanisevic of Montenegro and international financier and
 philanthropist George Soros announced today at a press conference in Brussels
 that a consortium of investors led by Soros Economic Development Foundation
 will form Euromarket Banka A.D., the first international bank to be chartered
 in the Republic of Montenegro. Euromarket Banka A.D., which is scheduled to
 open in July 2000, will be a well-capitalized international bank providing a
 full range of international services to both consumers and businesses in
 Montenegro.
     Founding shareholders of Euromarket Banka A.D. are expected to include
 Soros Economic Development Foundation -- the economic development arm of Open
 Society Institute; Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH
 (DEG) -- the German development bank; SKB Bank -- the largest private bank in
 Slovenia and Futura Investment Ltd. -- a private investment company.
 Euromarket's initial capital will total DM 11 million. Discussions are also
 underway with another regional bank which is also expected to participate as a
 shareholder and to provide technical assistance.
     In his comment on the founding of the bank, President Milo Djukanovic of
 Montenegro stated that it represents clear indication of the growing
 international investors' confidence in Montenegro's economic reforms. He also
 expressed his great confidence that Euromarket Banka A.D. would rapidly make a
 contribution to the economic development of Montenegro and hoped that this
 would be the first of many international banks to locate in Montenegro. He
 also expressed his belief that new Montenegrin legislation regulating the
 establishment and operation of banks would closely conform to EU models and
 would provide a sound framework for the growth in financial services in
 Montenegro.
     Euromarket Banka A.D. will be chartered under banking legislation of the
 Republic of Montenegro. The bank's main office will be located in the capital
 Podgorica and at least one initial branch is expected to open on the
 Montenegrin coast early next year.
     In discussing the formation of Euromarket Banka, George Soros said that it
 was his expectation that the bank would receive broad acceptance from
 Montenegrin businesses and consumers. He indicated that the strong group of
 investors that has been assembled would insure a stable capital base of the
 Bank, make depositors confident that their funds were well protected, and
 bring about sound banking practices. Soros also expressed the hope that many
 businesses and consumers would become the Bank's clients using its full range
 of services. These services are expected to initially include deposit taking,
 international payments processing and business equipment financing, and will
 later include consumer loans, lending to small and medium sized businesses and
 possibly real estate financing.
     Soros also announced that Mr. Branimir Pajkovic has been nominated to
 serve as Chief Executive Officer of Euromarket Banka A.D. Mr. Pajkovic has
 served as a senior executive in several Montenegrin and overseas financial and
 commercial institutions. Earlier in his career he also served as Yugoslavia's
 Director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) as a
 Cabinet Minister in the reformist Yugoslav Federal Government of 1989.
     Soros Economic Development Foundation (SEDF), the lead investor in
 Euromarket Banka, is a not-for-profit corporation chartered under Section
 501(c) (3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code, to develop and
 implement economic development projects throughout the world. To date SEDF has
 undertaken both equity and debt investments in Albania, Bosnia, Bangladesh,
 Bulgaria, Moldova, Macedonia, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.
     In Bosnia, SEDF is an investor in Market Banka d.d., the country's leading
 bank, where it operates a small business lending program. SEDF also makes
 capital available for small business lending in Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine.
 In Russia, SEDF has re-capitalized a small business lending program together
 with the EBRD, and several other investors. In Bangladesh, SEDF structured a
 long-term credit to permit Grameen Telecom Ltd., a sister company of Grameen
 Bank, to invest in an innovative cellular telephone project to bring telephony
 to the rural poor. In Macedonia, Albania and Moldova, SEDF has been an
 important player in implementing micro credit projects.
     The Open Society Institute is part of the Soros foundations network, a
 worldwide network of nonprofit foundations established by philanthropist
 George Soros to promote the development of open societies around the world.
 
 

SOURCE Soros Economic Development Foundation
    BRUSSELS, Belgium and NEW YORK, June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Minister of Finance
 Miroslav Ivanisevic of Montenegro and international financier and
 philanthropist George Soros announced today at a press conference in Brussels
 that a consortium of investors led by Soros Economic Development Foundation
 will form Euromarket Banka A.D., the first international bank to be chartered
 in the Republic of Montenegro. Euromarket Banka A.D., which is scheduled to
 open in July 2000, will be a well-capitalized international bank providing a
 full range of international services to both consumers and businesses in
 Montenegro.
     Founding shareholders of Euromarket Banka A.D. are expected to include
 Soros Economic Development Foundation -- the economic development arm of Open
 Society Institute; Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH
 (DEG) -- the German development bank; SKB Bank -- the largest private bank in
 Slovenia and Futura Investment Ltd. -- a private investment company.
 Euromarket's initial capital will total DM 11 million. Discussions are also
 underway with another regional bank which is also expected to participate as a
 shareholder and to provide technical assistance.
     In his comment on the founding of the bank, President Milo Djukanovic of
 Montenegro stated that it represents clear indication of the growing
 international investors' confidence in Montenegro's economic reforms. He also
 expressed his great confidence that Euromarket Banka A.D. would rapidly make a
 contribution to the economic development of Montenegro and hoped that this
 would be the first of many international banks to locate in Montenegro. He
 also expressed his belief that new Montenegrin legislation regulating the
 establishment and operation of banks would closely conform to EU models and
 would provide a sound framework for the growth in financial services in
 Montenegro.
     Euromarket Banka A.D. will be chartered under banking legislation of the
 Republic of Montenegro. The bank's main office will be located in the capital
 Podgorica and at least one initial branch is expected to open on the
 Montenegrin coast early next year.
     In discussing the formation of Euromarket Banka, George Soros said that it
 was his expectation that the bank would receive broad acceptance from
 Montenegrin businesses and consumers. He indicated that the strong group of
 investors that has been assembled would insure a stable capital base of the
 Bank, make depositors confident that their funds were well protected, and
 bring about sound banking practices. Soros also expressed the hope that many
 businesses and consumers would become the Bank's clients using its full range
 of services. These services are expected to initially include deposit taking,
 international payments processing and business equipment financing, and will
 later include consumer loans, lending to small and medium sized businesses and
 possibly real estate financing.
     Soros also announced that Mr. Branimir Pajkovic has been nominated to
 serve as Chief Executive Officer of Euromarket Banka A.D. Mr. Pajkovic has
 served as a senior executive in several Montenegrin and overseas financial and
 commercial institutions. Earlier in his career he also served as Yugoslavia's
 Director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) as a
 Cabinet Minister in the reformist Yugoslav Federal Government of 1989.
     Soros Economic Development Foundation (SEDF), the lead investor in
 Euromarket Banka, is a not-for-profit corporation chartered under Section
 501(c) (3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code, to develop and
 implement economic development projects throughout the world. To date SEDF has
 undertaken both equity and debt investments in Albania, Bosnia, Bangladesh,
 Bulgaria, Moldova, Macedonia, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.
     In Bosnia, SEDF is an investor in Market Banka d.d., the country's leading
 bank, where it operates a small business lending program. SEDF also makes
 capital available for small business lending in Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine.
 In Russia, SEDF has re-capitalized a small business lending program together
 with the EBRD, and several other investors. In Bangladesh, SEDF structured a
 long-term credit to permit Grameen Telecom Ltd., a sister company of Grameen
 Bank, to invest in an innovative cellular telephone project to bring telephony
 to the rural poor. In Macedonia, Albania and Moldova, SEDF has been an
 important player in implementing micro credit projects.
     The Open Society Institute is part of the Soros foundations network, a
 worldwide network of nonprofit foundations established by philanthropist
 George Soros to promote the development of open societies around the world.
 
 SOURCE  Soros Economic Development Foundation