That day, a Vneshtorgbank delegation headed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Bank started an official visit to Armenia. In the course of the visit, Mr. Kostin was received by Andranik Margarian, Prime Minister, and Tigran Sarkisian, Governor of the Bank of Armenia.
President of Armenia Robert Kocharian is scheduled to meet Mr. Kostin on 25 March. Gareguin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, also is expected to meet the Russian delegation.
A major event of the visit was a transaction completion to purchase a 70% stake of Armenian Savings Bank.
Armenian Savings Bank is a major commercial bank in that country. Its purchase is a further step in implementation of the Vneshtorgbank Development Strategy which envisages to develop the subsidiary network in Europe and CIS counties. Armenian Savings Bank, having an extended network of branches comprising more than 100 territorial units, the broad customer base, including, small and medium-size businesses and households, will lay a foundation for further VTB`s expansion to the Armenian banking market with huge development capabilities.
By having joined Armenian Savings Bank the Vneshtorgbank Group, it will also enable to strengthen competitive positions VTB has established in handling foreign trade between Russia and Armenia. The purchase transaction related to Armenian Savings Bank will be followed in the current year by a subsidiary to be established in Ukraine, and in the short run VTB is going to boost its activities on banking markets in Belarus, Kazakhstan and other CIS countries. Under the dynamic trade turnover taking shape between CIS countries, implementation of VTB`s large-scale plans to further expand the existing subsidiary network in the CIS will enable VTB to strengthen its leadership positions in foreign trade payments within the CIS area in the nearest future.
For reference: Armenian Savings Bank, specialised savings bank of Armenia, is the oldest banking institution of the country established in 1923. Before 1993, Armenian Savings Bank formed part of the State Savings Bank of the USSR. Total equity of the bank for 9 months of 2003 was 2,652 billion dram (close to US$4.66 million), profit was about US$318,000, and authorised capital is about US$5 million.