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Petrom and Erste Bank officially inaugurated the Executive MBA program of the WU Executive Academy in Romania

Bucharest, February 15, 2007 – Representatives of Petrom, Erste Bank and Vienna University of Economics and Business Admisistration (WU) officially inaugurated the Romanian Executive MBA, a flagship program of the WU Executive Academy. On this occasion, a panel discussion on the “The impact of Executive Education on the Romanian Economy” took place.

Top management representatives from Petrom and Erste Bank attended the panel discussion, as well as Horst Breinstein - Vice Rector for Business Development at WU, Vlad Micu – student and President of the MBA class and Adriana Boscanici – Managing Partner TrainArt, as moderator. As it emerged from the panel discussion, executive education programs offer local managers the opportunity to gain core competences which leverage the opportunities lying in their business fields. Another aspect pointed out by the panelists regards CSR initiatives in the HR field, by which major companies can impact on the sustainable development of the business environment.
The panel discussion was broadcasted live by The Money Channel, the event’s media partner.

“In a challenging but nurturing environment, the program gives participants the tools to leverage their potential to become excellent executives. The program builds a deep understanding of business fundamentals in all major functional areas, while emphasizing the skills and abilities needed to recognize and adopt to emerging trends and new technologies ”, stated Dr. Horst Breitenstein, Vice Rector, WU Vienna.

This joint initiative of Petrom and Erste Bank is part of both companies’ commitment to developing social responsibility projects in Central Eastern Europe, with a special emphasis on supporting high-level education for young executives.

“Erste Bank is engaged in making a contribution to the Romanian economy not only through its direct investments, but also through endowing high potential individuals with international management competences. We believe that international executive education will have a significant impact on the enhancement of the Romanian business environment ” stated Dr. Rupert Dollinger, Head of Human Resources Erste Bank.

“Education is fundamental for a healthy development of the economic environment in Romania and in the world. Petrom and OMV are committed to contribute to the development of the business community in Romania by investing in the business education of high potential people as a part of our social responsibility ", comments Mona Nicolici, from Corporate Communication Departament of Petrom.

Petrom and Erste Bank finance together 30 scholarships for Romanian applicants selected for the Executive MBA program, each amounting to EUR 35,000. Started in December 2006 and lasting over 14 months, the program targets high potentials with at least 5 years of work experience. Participants will attend classes in block modules of 4 days per month, as well as study trips to Austria and USA. The part-time program is in English and is is characterised particularly by internationality and high quality of instructional contents.
Curriculum offers knowledge and tools that are of immediate practical relevance and continually updated by cutting-edge research. Highly experienced and renowned faculty from all over the world teach new perspectives as well as conceptual frameworks in order to successfully operate within a global environment.

The Executive MBA program holds top positions in international MBA rankings. The AACSB and FIBAA accredited program ranks at place 1 in FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) regarding student satisfaction among part-time MBAs in German speaking countries and is ranked among the 50 best MBA programs world-wide by the German Handelsblatt. (German trade paper)

More detailed information regarding the MBA program in Romania www.executiveacademy.at/mba/romania.

About Petrom
Petrom is the largest Romanian oil and gas group, with activities in the business segments of Exploration and Production, Refining and Petrochemicals, Natural Gas, as well as Sales and Marketing. Petrom exploits estimated oil and gas reserves of 1 billion boe, an annual refining capacity of 8 million metric tons and around 550 filling stations in Romania. The company also has an international network with 82 filling stations located in Moldova and Hungary. This network was increased by 178 OMV premium stations in Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia-Montenegro, acquired in January 2006. In 2005 the turnover of Petrom was EUR 2,970 million, EBITDA was EUR 766 million. Following the share capital increase OMV, the leading oil and gas group in Central Europe holds a 51,011% share in Petrom. OMV is active in 13 Central European countries in its Refining and Marketing business segment and in 18 countries on five continents in Exploration and Production. The Romanian state holds 30.862% of Petrom shares, Property Fund SA holds 9,887%, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 2.026% and 6.214% are owned by minority shareholders.

About Erste Bank
Erste Bank, founded in 1819, was the first savings bank in Austria. Today it represents one of the largest financial services providers in Central and Eastern Europe, in terms of customers and total assets. Erste Bank's customer base has grown from 600,000 to over 15 million in seven years through growth in Austria and expansion into Central and Eastern Europe, where it has so far acquired more than 10 banks. On December 22nd 2005 Erste Bank won the tender for the privatization of Romania’s largest bank, BCR, for an amount of EUR 3.75 billion (the largest amount ever paid for a stake in a Romanian company, as well as the largest amount paid for a banking asset in CEE)... On Dec 22nd 2006, Erste Bank’s holding in BCR has increased to 69.11%, following the successful offer it has made to acquire the shares of BCR employees.

About WU Executive Academy
WU Executive Academy -
Executive Education at the Highest International Level

More than half of all Austrian business graduates have earned their degrees from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. It was in order to accompany and support the graduates in their life-long learning process that the WU established the WU Executive Academy. Within this organization, all post-experience programs and lifelong learning initiatives such as MBA/LL.M programs, certificate programs, corporate programs, seminars and congresses are being bundled and centrally organized. The Executive Academy aspires to a leading position in continued education in Austria, the entire CEE region and beyond.

Competitive advantage is guaranteed through the combination of scientifically validated know-how and hands-on experience. The WU Executive Academy draws on the resources of Europe’s largest business university, with around 400 faculty members as business experts and the expertise of 176 partner universities all over the world. The programs are aimed towards embracing cutting-edge approaches in theory and practice. All courses and contents have been designed for CEOs, managing directors, executives, managers and high potentials in order to meet individuals’ requirements in the best way possible.

For more information, please contact:

Erste Bank
Synergy Communications
Alina Costache - tel: 021 313 97 79
E-mail: alina.costache@synergy.ro

Petrom
Ramona Zanfirescu – tel: +40 (21) 40 60041
E-mail : ramona.zanfirescu@petrom.com

WU Executive Academy
Verena Hergel - Head of Marketing and Communications
Tel: +43/1/313 36-5382
e-mail: Verena.Hergel@wu-wien.ac.at