15 Dec 2010 16:28

VTB could buy controlling stake in Bank of Moscow in H1 2010 - Kostin

MOSCOW. Dec 15 (Interfax) - VTB intends to buy a majority stake in Bank of Moscow during the first half of 2011, VTB chief Andrei Kostin said during a web-cast conference call.

"We don't hide the fact that we're interested in buying a controlling or 100% stake in Bank of Moscow, and we expect we will succeed in doing so not later than the first half of 2011," Kostin said.

"I think the main thing is that the year 2010 showed that the financial crisis for the bank has ended: we posted a profit of 38 billion rubles in the first nine months under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)," Kostin.

"This was a difficult year: we expected that the second half would be better, but there was no serious change: much fewer clients and stiffer competition," he said.

"In addition, as you see, there are certain problems with inflation. It is higher than targeted. The Central Bank has already hinted that it might raise the refinancing rate, which compels us to think about future approaches," he said.

"I believe it can be said overall that we were able to resume system-wide lending operations. We are seeing growth in retail lending, the investment business is expanding in Russia and a number of CIS countries, including Ukraine, and we have yet to finish a serious restructuring of our main corporate business, which we plan to complete next year in order to strengthen our position on this market," he said.

"We look forward to next year, which will reinforce the banking sector's development. Profit is expected to total 80 billion rubles this year, that is, net profit will grow 60%," he said.