VTB offers help to Russian government

AFP Photo / Maxim Marmur
Russia’s second bank, VTB, has announced that it’s willing to act for the government to buy back shares in other companies on the market. The bank’s chief financial officer, Nikolai Tsekhomsky, made the announcement to

“We'd  be  pleased  to act as the government's agent to buy shares, once the liquidity for this is in place,” he said.

However Tsekhomsky  said that  VTB has no plans for a buyback of other companies'   shares   on   the   market without   the  necessary authorization  of  the  state. 

“We  will not be doing that [buying back other shares]. We will wait for state approval,” he said.

He  added  that  the  bank has its own share portfolio, however its total operations  for  purchasing and selling are not extensive. “We can buy and  sell portfolio shares but it is of an unsubstantial size and is in no way aimed  at  raising  the value of state companies,” Tsekhomsky said.

The announcement by VTB came on the same day that it revealed that net profits had increased 34.7% year-on-year in the first half of 2008 to $US 679 million.

This was above the $US 648 million forecast by analysts.