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April 02, 2009

METROLPOL Group opens Mining Bank of Congo in the Democratic Republic of Congo

On April, 1 in Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC, Mining Bank of Congo, the first African bank ever with 100% Russian capital, began operations. The Chairman of the Board of Mining Bank of Congo is Valery Redkin. The bank will provide a full range of banking services, including cash settlements, credits for Russian and foreign companies under pledge of concessions or real estate, lease of individual safes, operations with precious metals, consulting services with companies with interests in DRC markets. The bank will also carry out financing projects in the fields of mining, power and telecommunications.

The bank’s main shareholder is IFC METROPOL. In future Russian and foreign investors interested in entering the DRC market will become involved.

The decision to begin operations in the DRC was taken by METROPOL Group in March 2006. The first step in implementing the set tasks was to create Mining Bank of Congo. In July 2006, permission was received by Central Bank of Congo to set up a banking institution in the DRC. On April, 1, 2008, President Joseph Kabila of the DRC signed a Decree on the creation of the society Mining Bank of Congo (MBC), registered in Kinshasa.

On November, 30, 2008 a working meeting was held between President Kabila of the DRC and M.V. Slipenchuk, Head of METROPOL Group of companies, organized with the support of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The meeting discussed a wide range of issues related to METROPOL's investment banking activity in Congo and the attraction of direct investments in important branches of the DRC’s economy.

Mr. Kabila noted that the DRC was interested in widening its links with Russia in the fields of economics, politics and culture. Special mention was made of the consolidation of efforts to help Russian companies enter the DRC market. In this regard, the President proposed that METROPOL Group act as a coordinator of Russian companies’ activity in Congo and, in particular, frame a plan for further action in all areas of collaboration between the two countries. The President raised the idea of placing a series of bonds issued by DRC energy companies (or joint companies) on various international financial exchanges, with METROPOL Group's assistance, in order to attract investment in this important branch of the economy for the country.
Hence, as of today METROPOL Group’s main tasks in the DRC are:
• To establish and expand Mining Bank of Congo’s activity
• To create and develop vital infrastructure for the implementation of projects in the mining, construction, energy and other sectors of the country’s economy
• To offer consulting services to Russian and foreign companies interested in working on the DRC market
• To research opportunities for other business projects in the DRC involving Metropol Group

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