VTB Group continues to enhance its leading positions in the Russian market in the sphere of documentary and guarantee business. Over the past 10 months in 2008, the volume of VTB Bank's documentary and guarantee operations has exceeded RUB 320 billion that is 13% higher against the similar period in 2007.
VTB Bank has achieved a dominant position in the Russian market in this sphere not only in terms of gross figures but also by variety and complexity of operations. The Bank actively conducts operations of opening guaranteed L/Cs in Russian Rubles in order to make settlements within the Russian Federation. It has also developed schemes of handling these operations in specific industries.
Large businesses account for the most part of such operations, with one third of them being conducted for medium-sized customers. A considerable amount of operations are conducted directly in VTB regional branches, who have gained wide experience, technologies and powers for such operations.
In the industry breakdown of documentary and guarantee operations there are such industries as car manufacturing, construction, trade, machine building, defense industry, coal, nuclear and chemical industries, oil extracting and processing industry, ferrous metallurgy, healthcare and air transportation.
Acting in compliance with the Healthcare National Priority Project, VTB provides funding and makes settlements (in the form of bank guarantees and import L/Cs) under the construction project of 14 Federal medical high technology centers, being currently implemented within state contracts signed between FSUE Technointorg and the Federal Agency for Healthcare and Social Development of Russia.
Within the framework of measures taken by the Russian Government and the Вank of Russia to support banking sector liquidity, VTB in addition to direct lending assists Russian financial institutions in documentary form, in particular, through accepting L/Cs and granting reimbursement obligations under Russian banks' L/Cs.
Citing Alexander Yastrib, Senior Vice President, Head of Corporate Business Products and Support Segment, "in light of unstable economic environment in the world financial markets and global lack of liquid funds we are expecting an increase in our customers' demand for trade financing. Being a backbone of the Russian banking industry, VTB is ready to provide financing in documentary form to all priority spheres of the real economy and Russian financial sector".
For reference: VTB Group is a leading Russian financial group with a strong tradition in Russia and the CIS, and a presence in 17 countries around the world. The Russian Government is VTB's majority shareholder, with a 77.5% holding. The remaining 22.5% of the shares are traded on the RTS and MICEX in Russia, and VTB's global depositary receipts are traded on the London Stock Exchange. VTB offers a wide range of services in corporate, retail and investment banking in Russia, some other CIS states and a number of countries in Western Europe, Asia and Africa. As of 1 July 2008, VTB was the second largest financial group in Russia by assets (USD 108.8 billion) and by customer accounts (USD 44.6 billion). VTB Group is among the top three national retail banks with a network of 1001 outlets in Russia and the CIS. In 2008, VTB launched its Investment Banking business, which operates from Moscow, London and Singapore offices.