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From Vneshtorgbank to VTB: a new VTB Group brand is officially launched

24 October 2006

Under the strategic re-branding programme, Vneshtorgbank and its subsidiaries with more than 50% participation, which are located in Russia, other CIS countries, Europe, Asia and Africa, are going to operate under a single VTB brand. Vneshtorgbank`s retail business will be developed in Russia under VTB 24 brand.

At present, the VTB Group comprises 3 major Russian banks (Vneshtorgbank, Vneshtorgbank 24, Promstroibank), 7 banks located in Western Europe (UK, France, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Cyprus and Luxembourg), 4 banks in CIS countries (VTB-Ukraine, Mriya, Bank VTB (Armenia), United Georgian Bank), and offices in Africa (a joint bank in Angola under Banco VTB Africa SA brand, and a joint financial company in Namibia called VTB Capital (Namibia) (PTY).

Today, the VTB Group is the most dynamic  banking group in Russia and other CIS countries. In the last three years, its share in the aggregate assets of the Russian banking community doubled to reach 9%. The Group serves 150,000 corporate entities and more than 1.5 million individual customers.

Under the IFRS, in H1 2006, consolidated net profit earned by the VTB Group was USD 576 million, almost three times as much against the same reporting period in 2005, and it is a historic maximum for the Group at large. Assets of the Group were USD 45.327 billion, a 23.4% rise in H1 2006, and total loans to non-financial borrowers rose by 18.9% to USD 23.695 billion.

By 2010, the VTB Group is to increase its market share in Russia by 10%-12% in all major business activities. Target indicators of the VTB Group in Russia will be increased to RUR 3 trillion in assets and about RUR 1.5 trillion in loans.

The Development Strategy of the VTB Group focuses on turning it into a leading national banking group and envisages further development of the Group as a universal lending institution engaged in all key segments of the banking market, including corporate banking, SME financing, household lending and investment banking services.

In the coming two years, the VTB Group will place an emphasis on  developing its foreign-based offices in other CIS countries through acquisition of banks in Kazakhstan, Belarus and Azerbaijan. The VTB Group`s strategic plans also imply establishment of new entities and substantial expansion in the Asia-Pacific region. New offices of the VTB Group are to start operations, in particular, in China, India and Vietnam. By 2010, more than 20% of the Bank`s business will be located outside Russia.

Prime emphasis will be placed on the VTB Group`s expansion in Russian regions. Today, the VTB Group has established more than 500 outlets in all federal constituencies and big cities of the country. The regional business component within the Group exceeds 50% and continues growing. Within the next two years, the VTB Group will pursue its active growth of the regional network, which by 2008 is going to cover 65 Russian regions with almost 99% of industrial output and over 94% of the national population.

Vneshtorgbank`s re-branding is an important stage in the Development Strategy of the Bank aimed at building a powerful international financial VTB Group. A single brand of the Group will be an important tool for ensuring further business efficiency and bigger share of the VTB Group in the Russian and international banking markets. It will enable the Group to compete on equal footing with major international banks and to address the most pressing public and commercial issues, among them: developing key Russian industries, implementing national top-priority projects, making the national financial sector stronger and more competitive, attracting bigger lending and investment to the Russian economy and handling transactions of Russian companies in foreign markets.

Member banks of the Group will be united not only by a single brand, but also by common values and a unified approach to customer servicing. A matrix model will be introduced  within the Group based on unified standards in planning, financial accounting and reporting, asset and liability management, risk and liquidity management.

Quite soon, various information technologies used by the Group banks will be simplified and synchronized as much as possible and then a transition to a new unified IT system will be implemented, a unified data warehouse will be created and customer base management within the banking Group will be automated.

According to Andrey Kostin, VTB Chairman and CEO, «our re-branding is a strategic decision, which logically reflects current realities of the Bank` business. It is the first time in the Russian history that a powerful banking group of international dimension is being established. A transition of all the members of the Group to a common brand gives them undeniable competitive advantages compared to operating under different brand names, which in the long run will contribute to meeting the targets set in the Group Development Strategy».

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