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Press release

On 22 July 2004, Cetelem, a BNP Paribas subsidiary and a leader in consumer credit in continental Europe, signed an agreement with the Russian Standard group represented by Roustam Tariko, the group's founder. Under the agreement, Cetelem will acquire a 50% stake in the holding company that controls more than 90% of Russian Standard Bank (RSB). The deal is subject to approval by the antitrust and banking authorities (the Central Bank of Russia).

To date, some steps necessary for the execution of the agreement, which had to be taken by Cetelem's counterparts in the agreement and not by Cetelem itself, have still not been taken. This situation is affecting the successful execution of the deal and is creating uncertainty as to its completion.

Consequently, BNP Paribas has decided to take appropriate actions, including legal actions, to protect its interests.