Raiffeisen Target of Investigation

Raiffeisen International Bank, Austria's biggest lender by market value, is being investigated for alleged violations of Russia's competition laws.

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service on Dec. 29 opened two separate cases into Raiffeisen's Russian unit and nine other insurance companies for allegedly fixing prices for mortgages and car loans, the service said in a statement on its web site Wednesday.

"If there was a breach of anti-monopoly law, then we will take the necessary measures to comply,'' Vienna-based Raiffeisen International spokesman Michael Palzer said Wednesday by telephone. "There will be no financial impact.''

The agreements in question were signed in 2006 by the insurance companies and Impexbank, which Raiffeisen later acquired, the regulator said. A hearing is expected on Feb. 27 and Feb. 28, it said.

Raiffeisen faces a maximum 400,000 ruble (about $16,000) fine for any transgression, Palzer said.