VTB eyes both East and West

Russia’s second largest bank VTB plans to extend its activities on the West, Asian and the Middle East markets in order to attract investors around the globe.

­The bank already operates in more than 20 countries and has opened an office in New York.

“We are building up a worldwide network for VTB activities, particularly in the West,” Andrey Kostin, the head of VTB bank told RT. “The American market is the most attractive from the point of client base, and of investors”.

This year the bank plans to carry out one third of its activities through the New York office, as well as through London and Asian offices. VTB is pinning its hopes on the Dubai office for further expansion in the Middle East.

“Russia and Russian companies have to deal more with new capital export areas like China, and the Gulf region,” Kostin said. “Because for decades we were addressing Western markets, but China and the Gulf countries are quite important for capital export.”

He pointed out Russia should do much more to attract investors from the Eastern market, which are important investors for the US and Europe.

In order to boost its attractiveness for investors VTB is going to sell a significant stake within the bounds of a partial privatization. As VTB’s rival Sberbank also plans to sell a stake, Kostin supposed, the state should define the timeline for both institutions.

“It’s clear VTB and Sberbank coming to the market at the same time is not a good idea because the placement is quite big,” he explained. “I don’t think it’s necessary to postpone it for too long, because if you wait for the best price you can wait forever”.

VTB reported 8.7 billion roubles revenue in the first quarter of 2012. The loan portfolio grew by 35 billion roubles up to 744 billion. The bank also managed to attract deposits of almost 64 billion roubles in the first quarter.