Veteran Russia bear Jim Rogers takes Moscow job

Veteran investor Jim Rogers, a well-known Russia bear, appears to have had a change of heart: He’s taken a job as an advisor to the agricultural fund run by Russian state-owned banking group VTB .

Rogers, who long steered clear of Russia, said in a statement issued on Tuesday by VTB: “Russia and the [Commonwealth of Independent States] region have all the ingredients needed to become the world’s agriculture powerhouse. It seems that everything may now be coming together under VTB Capital to make this happen, so I am keen to participate.” 

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VTB Bank Extends Credit Facilites For Mechel

Russian metal and mining company Mechel announces the extension of credit facilities totalling 13.6 billion rubles (approximately $462 million) previously obtained from VTB Bank for Mechel’s enterprises.

Subsidiaries of Mechel Mining, which is part of Mechel Group, and VTB Bank signed amendments to the credit facilities, extending the maturities by three years until 2015. 

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VTB Capital Has Bought 4,35% of En+ Group Shares From Oleg Deripaska

Investment banking outlet of VTB bank called VTB Capital has recently closed the purchase deal of 4,35% of EN+ Group shares from Oleg Deripaska for $500 million, Russian newspaper Vedomosti has reported.  

VTB Capital has bought this stake from Basic Element company — the operator of all Oleg Deripaska assets. “We see huge potential in En+ Group’s growth connected mainly to the development of cooperation between Russia and China in energetic, metallurgical and mining spheres”, chairman of the board of VTB Capital Yuri Soloviev has noted. 

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Bank of Moscow president is looking for political asylum in London

One more ‘political victim’ has found himself looking for political asylum in London, following other Russian businessmen claiming to be wrongfully convicted by state authorities. Bank of Moscow president Andrei Borodin is unlikely to follow the scenario he draw himself — to get back to Russia “as soon as he will recover his health condition”. The proposition was made by another Russian disgraced oligarch Boris Berezovsky in the conversation with The Daily Mail reporter.

Berezovsky can be right, as pure statistical numbers would show that Andrei Borodin can face something else rather than a warm welcome upon his return, if and when it would occur. 

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VTB purchases the Moscow city government’s stake in Bank of Moscow

VTB purchased a 46.48% stake in Bank of Moscow (BoM) and a 25%+1 share in SSG (which controls 17.3% of BoM) from the city’s government on Tuesday, Vedomosti reports.

VTB paid RUB 103bn for the stake, implying a RUB 203bn valuation for the whole bank – a 14% increase over the city’s previous valuation of RUB 178bn, but below the RUB 240-280bn target announced by BoM President Andrei Borodin on Monday. 

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Situation around Bank of Moscow escalates

The Bank of Moscow (BoM) board of directors canceled its decision to re-elect its president at a shareholders meeting on 4 March, Vedomosti reports. The board selected 3 May for the AGM, during which a new president is to be elected. 

Two candidates are listed: current president Andrey Borodin, and his deputy, Dmitry Akulin, thus ignoring VTB’s candidate, Mikhail Kuzovlev. 

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TransCreditBank may show growth after merger with VTB

Troika Dialog reported this morning that VTB’s supervisory board has approved the purchase of 100% stake in TransCreditBank. VTB is looking to buy a controlling stake by end 2010 from Russian Railways (further discussion is scheduled for the next week) and minority shareholders. 

The price will be no more than 2.2 times TransCreditBank’s adjusted Tier 1 capital by year end, implying a valuation for the entire bank of $1.6 billion. Adjustments will not be material, instead being aimed at avoiding any negative revaluation of equity during future impairment tests.

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VTB releases positive 2Q2010 IFRS financials

On September 2, VTB released consolidated 2Q2010 financials audited to IFRS. In the reporting period, assets rose 0.5% to RUB 3.63 trillion and aggregate loan portfolio expanded 10.6% to RUB 2.82 trillion. Equity capital was at RUB 524 bn after rising by 0.7% over the quarter.

On the upside, we underscore the following key points:

  • Growth of net interest margin to 5.5% in 2Q, from 5.2% in 1Q2010 and 4.3% in 2Q2009. Due to the loan portfolio expansion, the bank’s interest income increased 0.8% q-o-q, while interest expenses declined 4.1% q-o-q, primarily due to a sharp decrease in payments on other bank assets and other liabilities.

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