VTB Hits Road to Reassure Investors

Kostin Jr.

VTB, Russia’s second-largest lender, will hold roadshows for investors in London and New York to allay concerns about the black hole in the balance sheet of its new acquisition, Bank of Moscow, which received a $14 billion state-backed bailout last week.

As a part of the bailout, to which the government will contribute $10.6 billion, VTB will increase its stake in Bank of Moscow to 75 percent. Investors, however, are likely to be seeking answers as to why the initial hostile takeover of Bank of Moscow in April was trumpeted as such a success.

Sergei Dubinin, a member of the board of VTB, told radio station Ekho Moskvy on Saturday that VTB president Andrei Kostin and other members of management would be sent abroad to meet with investors to explain “how all of this will work and try to calm them down.”

A VTB spokeswoman confirmed to The Moscow Times on Monday that such a roadshow is being planned for the last week of July, but stressed that it had not yet been confirmed.

“It’s standard practice for banks to organize meetings with investors,” she said.

Analysts, however, said VTB needed face-to-face meetings with investors to explain exactly how and why the takeover of Bank of Moscow, Russia’s fifth-largest bank, unfolded as it did.

“The idea is that they get their story — which they can’t print — out into the market and try to save a little bit of face because only a few months ago they were talking about how great this deal with the Bank of Moscow was going to be,” said Jason Hurwitz, a financial analyst at Alfa Bank.

Despite the privatization of a 10 percent stake in VTB in February, the bank is 75 percent owned by the government.

Hurwitz added that there was still a lot of uncertainty, which investors would be looking to clear up, over the value of the VTB stock and, particularly, the details of Bank of Moscow’s loan book.

“No matter what they tell us, it’s still totally vague,” he said.

Andrei Kostin, son of VTB’s chief executive also named Andrei Kostin, was killed Saturday in a quad-biking accident in the Yaroslavl region, RIA-Novosti reported.

Kostin, 32, was a managing director at Deutsche Bank in Moscow and oversaw the company’s investment banking division. He had worked for Deutsche Bank for 11 years, joining the company’s London offices in 2000.

Kostin lost control of the vehicle he was driving near Pereslavl-Zalessky, veered off the road and crashed into a tree. He died at the scene of the accident. A criminal investigation into the incident has been opened.

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