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Cetelem, N°1 in consumer finance in Continental Europe, starts operations in Russia

August 21st, 2007 - Moscow - Cetelem, a 100% subsidiary of the BNP Paribas group, has started operating in Russia. After several months of preparation, the Cetelem Russia team, conducted by its CEO Philippe Delpal, has just granted its first loans.

Cetelem Russia intends to distribute the Cetelem product range over the entire Russian territory. Business first started simultaneously in 5 major cities (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Krasnodar and Nijni Novgorod) and will spread to 5 other cities by the end of the year, the objective being to cover the entire country.

Products will be marketed in commercial partners' points of sales (retailers, car dealers and manufacturers) and will be completed by direct-to-customer credit sales.

For Cetelem, the Russian consumer finance market is one of the most promising markets in Europe. According to Philippe Delpal, ‘Regular growth in GDP, strong increase of consumption, driven by the rapid improvement of the population's living standards, a reasonably low unemployment rate and relative political stability, represent solid foundations for the consumer finance market which has been making headway since 2002.'

In addition to the expertise of its team and its understanding of the Russian banking market, the assets of Cetelem Russia are based on the implementation of the Cetelem business model with its marketing, risk and scoring tools, which have proved their worth in more than 20 countries throughout the world.
For François Villeroy de Galhau, CEO of Cetelem, ‘Our deployment in Russia is completely in line with our strategy of international development in high-growth countries, just as our recent acquisition in Brazil (Banco BGN). Our ambitions concerning Cetelem Russia are extremely high for the next three years and we plan to be among the top 5 on the market while maintaining satisfactory levels in terms of profitability and risk management.'

About Cetelem
Cetelem, a company of the BNP Paribas Group, was a pioneer in the field of consumer credit back in 1953 and of Internet credit since 1997. It is now market leader in France and in continental Europe, with over €58 billion of outstanding loans and 23,000 employees as at the end of June 2007. Cetelem is present in 29 countries over four of the world's continents. Cetelem is also a first choice partner for retailers, banks and insurance companies to which it lends its extensive know-how in the field of consumer credit. For further information, visit our Website at: