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Deutsche Bank goes for IMPEXBANK
31.05.2005 00:00

IMPEXBANK is negotiating the largest-ever deal in Russian banking sector, with Deutsche Bank as the most probable candidate for the purchase.
       To withstand competition from foreign banks, one must ally with them, thinks Boris Ivanishvili, holder of 67% of IMPEXBANKs shares. The rest belongs to Vitaly Malkin, governor of the Buryatia Republic.
       IMPEXBANK, set up in 1993, is among Top 25 Russian banks in terms of assets (37.4bn roubles), owning some 5.4bn roubles (28th place). It is well ahead of MDM Bank in terms of private deposits (14.5bn roubles against 8.3bn roubles), although behind Alfa Bank (28.7bn roubles) and Rosbank, swelling after the purchase of OVK group to 34.4bn roubles. It is on fourth place in terms of regions covered (43 RF constituencies), with 383 points of sale, including 45 regional offices).
       The intention to find a stable foreign partner has been voiced for quite a time now, and IMPEXBANK is not unique in its desire. Alfa Bank and Russky Standart Bank have had some experience, but turned out too greedy.
       Deutsche Bank, operating in 74 countries, worth $36.7bn, settled in Russia long before the 1917 Communist Revolution, with a stake at Russian Foreign Trade Bank. It was the first foreign bank to register its office in the USSR, incorporating it in 1998, the year of the disastrous economic collapse in Russia. Throughout its 120-year romance with Russia, it was largely an investment bank. In 2004, the German giant whose total assets run into ?845bn procured a 40% slice of the Unified Financial Group and now it obviously seeks a share in the retail sector.
       The chances are that there may be other contenders for the deal, roughly estimated at 200bn roubles, since no comments have been offered by either Deutsche Bank, its Russia-based subsidiary or IMPEXBANK. Other candidates might come from France or the Netherlands.
       Some more statistics for reference. Moodys Investors Service assigned B1/NP foreign currency deposit ratings and E+ Financial Strength Rating (FSR) to IMPEXBANK. Besides, IMPEXBANK has CCC+ long-term rating from Standard and Poors (outlook Stable) and BB rating from Russian Rating Agency RusRating (outlook Stable).


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