Raiffeisen Bank International says upholding sanctions on Russia

The Raiffeisen Bank International logo is pictured behind traffic lights at an office building in Vienna September 29, 2014. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank International is complying with international sanctions against Russia, it said on Wednesday, after a media report that regulators were looking into a bond deal that its Russian unit helped to arrange.

“Raiffeisen Bank International is fully complying with the sanctions and paying attention to sanctions compliance throughout the group, in accordance with actual and legal possibilities and necessities in the local markets,” a spokeswoman said in response to an enquiry.

The Bloomberg news agency had reported that RBI was drawing scrutiny from regulators for managing a sanctioned Russian company’s bond sale as U.S. and European Union bans reduce financing options.

It said that RBI’s Moscow-based unit, ZAO Raiffeisenbank, was one of three advisers that arranged a 10 billion-rouble bond sale last month by Vnesheconombank.

Quoting an unnamed person with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg said EU and U.S. authorities were trying to determine whether the transaction was handled solely by Raiffeisen’s Russian unit.

Sanctions imposed on Moscow for supporting separatist rebels in Ukraine ban U.S. and EU banks from long-term lending to sanctioned banks or helping them to arrange long-term financing. But they allow local units to participate in deals like VEB’s as long as they are not sold internationally.

RBI has said it remains committed to Russia, its single most profitable market, but is doing only selective business with long-term customers.

Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Larry King