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S&P Rates PrivatBank Notes 'B-'

December 16, 2003
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today it assigned its 'B-' senior unsecured debt rating to the Loan Participation Notes amounting to $100 million and expiring in 2006, which have been issued by Credit Suisse First Boston International (CSFBi; A+/Stable/A-1) on a limited recourse basis for the purpose of financing a loan to Ukraine-based PrivatBank (B-/Stable/C). The credit risk of the Loan Participation Notes wholly reflects the counterparty credit ratings on PrivatBank.

"The ratings on PrivatBank reflect its marginal capitalization and high asset risks stemming from rapid loan growth within the risky Ukrainian economic and business environment," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Irina Penkina. These factors are partially offset by the bank's promising business prospects, increasingly widespread customer deposit base, and positive trend in operating revenues.

PrivatBank is a leading commercial bank in Ukraine, which, at June 30, 2003, generated 14% of the country's retail deposits and 29% of loans to individuals. According to International Accounting Standards, the bank's assets totaled Ukrainian hryvnia (UAH) 8.2 billion ($1.52 billion), and gross loans of UAH6.5 billion at the same date. PrivatBank aims to increase its market share in mass retail and SME segments, and is well positioned to do so based on its wide network and established reputation. The bank will face increasing pricing competition, however.