Dr. Boris Nemsic, Member of the Board of VEF, "Man of the Year" 2007

The Austrian monthly magazine on economy "trend" honoured Dr. Boris Nemsic "Man of the Year" 2007.

Dr. Nemsic, Chairman of the Board of Telekom Austria AG and Mobilkom Austria AG experienced a successful year: TA started in Macedonia and Serbia with new mobile telephone providers and took over the second largest Belorussian mobile phone provider MDC.

Mag. Andreas Treichl, Founding Member of VEF, WU-Manager of the Year 2007

Andreas Treichl, Chairman of the Board of Erste Bank was honoured for his successful work as manager and for his commitment in social questions.

His leadership expertise, strategic visions and his will to shape have helped make Erste Bank a success story on the Austrian and middle East-European banking sector.

Gas co Bulgargaz buys stake in Romanian peer Transgaz

Bulgargaz Holding, the Bulgarian state-controlled gas distributor, said it has acquired less than 1% of the 10% share stake floated on its domestic bourse by Romanian gas company Transgaz.

Bulgargaz division Bulgartransgaz and Transgaz are involved in the Nabucco project for the delivery of Caspian gas to Central and Eastern Europe and are potential participants in an initiative spearheaded by Hungary's MOL for the creation of a regional gas holding consolidating the business of operators from six countries.

Bulgargaz Holding executive director Lyubomir Denchev said the company paid 1.1 mln levs to acquire 9,000 of the 1.17 mln shares offered by Transgaz.
The deal marks the first overseas acquisition for Bulgargaz which is aiming for a market cap of 4-6 bln euro, said Denchev.

The target will be hit through the listing of 20-30% of the gas distributor on the Bulgarian and London exchanges over the next couple of years.

Bulgargaz also becomes that first state-controlled enterprise to be involved in such a transaction.

6th Traditional Meeting of the Friends between the Adriatic and the Black Sea

On 29 June 2007, the 6th Traditional Meeting of the Friends from the Adriatic to the Black Sea took place traditionally in the garden of the Bulgarian Cultural Institute Haus Wittgenstein in Vienna. The event has been hosted by the Board of Vienna Economic Forum and the Ambassadors of the Member Countries of Vienna Economic Forum.

The member countries of Vienna Economic Forum presented to the guests of this summer event the specialities of their national cuisine and specific regional drinks. Everyone had the opportunity to enjoy the musical program prepared by the Member Countries and presented by the artists in the salons of Haus Wittgenstein. As usually the art exhibition in the Salons of the Haus Wittgenstein was the most popular part of the Garden party.

More than 350 guests came to the 6th Traditional Meeting. The good ambient culinary and musical evening continued until late night.

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Dr. Herbert Stepic, Member of the Board of VEF, "European Manager of the Year 2007"

European Business Press voted for CEO of Raiffeisen International

The European Business Press (EBP) presented the "European Manager of the Year 2007 Award" to Herbert Stepic, CEO of Raiffeisen International and Member of the Board of Vienna Economic Forum at its General Assembly in Sopot, Poland, yesterday evening. The price was handed over by the Governor of the Polish National Bank, Slawomir Skrzypek, and the President of EBP, Ralph Büchi.

The award is based on a vote amongst the editors-in-chief of the EBP members, among them publications such as the "Financial Times", "The Wall Street Journal Europe", "Handelsblatt", "Les Echos" or "Milano Finanza". EBP was founded in Como, Italy, in 1962. Today the organisation counts 58 leading European business newspapers and magazines in about 30 countries.

In 1991, EBP began presenting the award to top European managers, entrepreneurs or companies. Among the recipients were personalities such as Ingvar Kamprad of Ikea, Jorma Ollila of Nokia and Bernd Pischetsrieder, former CEO of BMW and Volkswagen.

Herbert Stepic received this highest award granted by European business journalists for his outstanding work developing his company into one of the major players in the central and eastern European banking world. As CEO of Raiffeisen International and Deputy Chairman of the Managing Board of majority shareholder Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG (RZB), both based in Vienna, Austria, he was and still is considered a pioneer in Central and Eastern Europe. The first Raiffeisen joint venture started operations 20 years ago in Hungary, almost three years before the democratisation process started in Central and Eastern Europe with the fall of the Iron Curtain. Following his vision and using his contacts, he was responsible for forming a unique grid of subsidiaries for RZB and Raiffeisen International far beyond the Austrian borders. Today, he steers banks and leasing companies in 16 markets of the region with around 2,900 offices and more than 53,000 employees. Since its IPO in April 2005 the price of Raiffeisen International shares has more than tripled.

"The European Business Press Award crowns the recognitions Raiffeisen and I were glad to receive in the recent past", Herbert Stepic referred to a series of regional "Best Bank Awards" and personal decorations, among them "Man of the year" by the Austrian business magazine "trend" at the end of 2005. "I receive this award also on behalf of my board colleagues and our excellent staff ", he added.

Christian Rainer, publisher of EBP-member "trend", calls Raiffeisen "the unlikely example of how a small local company in a tiny country on the former borders of democratic Europe can become a giant in its field. And Herbert Stepic is seen as the main driver of this process".

Herbert Stepic started his professional career after graduating from Vienna's University for Economics and Business Administration in 1972. One year later he joined RZB, where he started to develop the international business of the bank. He became a Board Member in 1987 and Deputy Chairman of RZB's Managing Board in 1995. In 2001, he additionally became CEO of Raiffeisen International. Stepic is 60 years old, married and father of two sons.

Annual General Assembly of the Vienna Economic Forum

On March 29th, 2007 the Annual General Assembly of the Vienna Economic Forum took place at Palais Hoyos and the President, Dr. Erhard Busek had the pleasure to welcome many new members and co-operation partners.

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Wirtschaftsforum "Österreich - Ukraine" 

Am 23. Februar 2007 im Grossen Saal der Wirtschaftskammer Wien fand das Wirtschaftsforum "Österreich - Ukraine" statt. Eine grosse ukrainische Delegation von Entscheidungsträgern und Geschäftsleuten traf mit österreichischen Partner zusammen. Vienna Economic Forum war von der Generalsekretärin, Botschafterin a. D. Dr. Elena Kirtcheva vertreten. Mitglieder und Kooperationspartner des Vienna Economic Forum- Generali Holding Vienna AG, RZB, Meinl Bank AG, Austrian Airlines, Bank Austria Creditanstalt AG, Macedonian Airlines, nutzten die Möglichkeit die weitere Zusammenarbeit mit Ukraine zu besprechen.

Am Foto:

1. Das Präsidium des Forums: Guido STOCK, Regional Direktor AWO-GUS, Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, Volodymyr SCHELKUNOV, Präsident des Ukrainischen Nationalkomitees der Internationalen Handelskammer, S.E. Volodymyr JELTSCHENKO, Botschafter der Ukraine, Botschafterin a.D. Dr. Elena KIRTCHEVA, Generalsekretärin des Vienna Economic Forum

2. Herr Dipl.Kfm. Werner MOERTEL, Mitglied des Vorstandes - Chief Executive East, Generali Holding Vienna AG, Generali Rückversicherung AG, Vorstandsmitglied des Vienna Economic Forum.

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Nomination of Dr. Boris Nemsic for the Board of the worldwide GSM Association

Dr. Boris NEMSIC, CEO-Telekom Austria Group, CEO-mobilkom austria, Founding Member and Member of the Board of Vienna Economic Forum was nominated for the Board of the worldwide GSM Association. The Lobbying Union represents 700 mobile companies worldwide.

Telekom Austria Group Wins the Tender for the 3rd License in the Republic of Macedonia

Vienna, February 5, 2007: The Telekom Austria Group (VSE: TKA, NYSE: TKA) today announced that its mobile subsidiary, mobilkom austria, won the tender for the GSM 900/1800 license for the Republic of Macedonia. The cost of the license amounts to EUR 10 million. The license shall be granted for a period of 10 years, renewable for further 10 years. mobilkom austria will enter into negotiations to finalize the license contract soon.

Boris Nemsic, Chief Executive Officer of the Telekom Austria Group, said: “The acquisition of the license represents a further opportunity to establish a mobile business in an attractive market after the acquisition of the license in Serbia. It is consistent with the Group strategy of increasing our presence in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. The greenfield operation will benefit from the experience and synergies from operations in adjacent countries."

The license conditions include a requirement to launch operations within 6 months following the license grant date and to provide coverage of 30% of the population within 12 months after the grant date. 50% of the population has to be covered within 24 months and 90% of the population has to be covered within 48 months. As of December 2005, mobile penetration was 63%.

The acquisition of the license and the planned launch of operations will not cause the Telekom Austria Group to exceed its self-imposed threshold of net debt/EBITDA of 2.0x. Furthermore, market entry will not impact the planned share buyback program. The dividend policy previously announced remains unchanged.

Informal Get-together in VEF

The Ambassadors of the Member Countries of Vienna Economic Forum, as well as the Ambassador of Slovakia and Armenia were discussing the future cooperation for the year 2007 in the premises of the VEF Secretary General, Ambassador Dr. Elena Kirtcheva.

On the photo from left to right:

H.E. Prof. Dr. Jozef KLIMKO, Ambassador of the Republic of Slovakia

H.E. Univ.Prof.DDr.h.c. Andrei HOISIE, Ambassador of Romania

H.E. Dr. Vesna BOROZAN, Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia

H.E. Dr. Ashot HOVAKIMIAN, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia

H.E. Mag. Daria KRSTICEVIC, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina

H.E. Prof. Dr. Zoran JASIC, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia

Ambassador Dr. Elena KIRTCHEVA, Secretary General of Vienna Economic Forum

H.E. Mag. Radi NAIDENOV, Ambassador of the Republic fo Bulgaria

Mr. Bojan BERTONCELJ, Councellor in the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia


Visit of the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Macedonia

The Minister of Finance of the Republic of Macedonia, H.E. Dr. Trajko SLAVESKI, visited Vienna Economic Forum in order to discuss with the Secretary General, Ambassador Dr. Elena KIRTCHEVA, the upcoming event of Vienna Economic Forum - Ohrid Meeting on 20-21 Arpil 2007 in Ohrid, Macedonia.