Eastern European Markets
February, the 25th, 2008

Evli expands in Russia – joint venture with Avanko Oy

Evli Bank Plc expands in Russia by acquiring 49.9% in Avanko Oy, the Russian corporate finance specialist with offices in St. Petersburg and Moscow. The remaining 50.1% is owned by the management of Avanko.

With a long experience of the Russian financial markets, deep understanding of local busi-ness practices and an extensive local contact network, Avanko has established a wide client base consisting of Russian and international companies.

Through Avanko, Evli´s Corporate Finance resources are strengthened by 24 Russian pro-fessionals, who will be able to cooperate closely with Evli’s current teams in Finland, Swe-den, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

“This expansion supports Evli’s strategy and strengthens our competitive position in the Baltic rim. Evli´s primary market area is the Baltic Sea region, including Russia and other republics of the former Soviet Union. Understanding the companies, industries and econo-mies of this area is one of our core competencies, which provides us with a clear competi-tive advantage,” says Evli Bank’s CEO Maunu Lehtimäki.

“Cooperation with Evli will strengthen Avanko’s market position in Russia and efforts in the development of our presence in Russia by allowing us to target larger transactions and extend the range of services and client base, as well as by providing us an access to exper-tise in equity offerings, asset management and capital markets. We believe that the ability to offer Russian companies the possibility of an IPO on the OMX Nordic Exchange will provide us with an additional differentiation factor,” says Avanko’s Managing Director Grigory Du-darev.

According to Mikael Thunved, Head of Evli Bank´s Corporate Finance unit, the joint venture opens remarkable possibilities for Evli´s clients. “Investments targeting Russia are growing fast, which is why Evli is strengthening its resources in the area. It is the right time for Evli to enter the rapidly growing Russian corporate finance market.”

“Russia is already the tenth largest economy in the world, and it is predicted to become the fifth largest by 2020. We will definitely see increasing business activity between Nordics and Russia in the coming years,” Mr. Thunved comments.

Evli Group has significant Russia related business operations. Evli launched its first Russian equity fund in 2004 and manages to date three open-ended mutual funds with investment scope within Russia and former CIS countries and 300 million euros in net assets.

Evli Property Investments Ltd has operated in St. Petersburg since 2006. EPI Russia I real estate fund focuses on St. Petersburg real estate market and currently has three major investments in its portfolio. Estimated total investment size of the current projects is around 250 million euros.

Evli’s equity research product, “Nordic companies expanding into Russia and Eastern Europe”, focuses on companies, which are present in those markets or have plans to ex-pand there. The product is based on research

Further information:
Maunu Lehtimäki, CEO, Evli Bank Plc, tel. +358 9 4766 9304 or +358 50 553 3000
Grigory Dudarev, Managing Director, Avanko Oy, tel. +358 50 465 4085
Mikael Thunved, Head of Evli’s Corporate Finance unit, tel. +46 (0) 8 407 8048

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