5 Mar 2010 14:35

VTB hopes to see a renewed increase in lending in Q3 and Q4

MOSCOW. March 5 (Interfax) - VTB hopes to see lending renew its growth in the third and fourth quarters of 2010, the bank's president and chairman, Andrei Kostin, told Journalists.

"We hope that growth in lending will be renewed in the third and fourth quarters," he said, adding that VTB had seen a decrease in the growth rate for overdue debts.

"The bank's reserves have stabilized. The biggest difficulty is the loan portfolio for small and medium-sized business. We are seeing now that major business are starting to spring to life," Kostin said.

Kostin added that VTB plans to dismiss its reserves in mid-2010. "We have planned that the peak [in increasing overdue debt] will be reached in June, after June we will like start dismissing [reserves]," he said.

When asked about plans for developing VTB's business in CIS countries, Kostin said that this system has been set up, adding: "We want to strengthen it now. We plan to expand operations in Ukraine, including retail work. We are also focusing on Kazakhstan as a country where we have recently entered," Kostin said.

He said that VTB could provide additional capitalization to its Kazakh subsidiary bank. He added that VTB had instructed its subsidiary banks outside of Russia to increase their returns on capital over the next three years. If their margins are insufficient, these subsidiaries will be closed. "All subsidiary banks over three years should have a return on equity (ROE) coming to no less than 15%. If they do not do this, we will then decide what to do later on," Kostin stressed.