Further strengthening high competitive positions on the Russian banking market was an important result of the Vneshtorgbank`s performance record in 2003. Vneshtorgbank continued expanding its operations in commercial lending, handling foreign trade transactions, succeeded in winning new market sectors such as mortgage and consumer lending, servicing small and medium-size businesses, and in investment activities.
As of 31 December 2003, Vneshtorgbank`s assets rose almost by 60% to US$8.9 billion as compared to the start of the year 2003. The client lending portfolio posted a 57% increase to reach 129.4 billion roubles as of 31 December 2003. The Vneshtorgbank`s progressive advance was attributed to deposits grown by 65%, from 120.7 billion roubles at the start of the year 2003 to 199.7 billion roubles as of 1 January 2004.
The book profit of the Bank was 11.8 billion roubles at year-end 2003, and the net profit was 8.6 billion roubles at year-end 2003.
According to a preliminary estimate, as of 31 December 2003 Vneshtorgbank Group`s assets increased by 55% to over US$11.5 billion, and the client lending portfolio reached US$5.4 billion against the start of the year 2003. By the end of the reporting year 2003, pre-tax profit of the Vneshtorgbank Group was US$460 million, net profit of the Group for 2003 showed a 42% increase to US$371 million as compared to the prior year figures.
Besides Vneshtorgbank, the Group comprises Russian Commercial Bank in Zurich, Switzerland; Russian Commercial Bank in Limassol, Cyprus; Donau-Bank AG in Vienna, Austria; East-West United Bank in Luxembourg, and Ost-West Handelsbank in Frankfurt, Germany.
In 2003 Vneshtorgbank continued successfully developing its commercial banking business. By the end of the reporting year 2003, total corporate clients reached almost 58,000 in number (a 26% growth as compared to the start of the year 2003), deposits raised from corporate customers more than doubled to exceed 70 billion roubles. Time deposit and payment accounts balances of corporate customers accounted for 35% of total deposits raised.
Under its strategic policy aimed at supporting and developing the Russian industry, Vneshtorgbank notably expanded its co-operation with major Russian companies acting as industry leaders such as: Rosneft, Sviazinvest, UES of Russia, Kamaz, Avtovaz, Russian Railways, Rosenergoatom Concern, ALROSA, and United Heavy Machinery. Vneshtorgbank made loans chiefly to major corporate clients from defence, oil and gas, nuclear energy, motor vehicle manufacturing, and ferrous metallurgy sectors. High business volumes also remain with air carriers, space industry, consumer goods sector, regional and municipal Governments.
The year 2003 saw substantial growth in international payment volume and guarantee-related transactions.ount of guarantees issued by Vneshtorgbank on behalf of its customers increased more than sevenfold to reach US$1.5 billion. Along this line, Vneshtorgbank maintained a dynamic co-operation with major defence enterprises where the Bank issued transaction certificates and financed a variety of major contracts in international military-technology co-operation, in particular, under a US$1.3 billion contract entered into by Rosvoorouzhenie to deliver fighters to China.