VTB Bank has completed its acquisition of a 51% stake in OJSC AF Bank, Azerbaijan.
In the near future, the subsidiary bank is planned to be renamed JSC VTB Bank (Azerbaijan).
The decision to acquire the controlling interest in AF bank was made under the strategy of VTB Group expansion in the CIS markets. VTB access to the Azerbaijani banking market was deemed to promote the bilateral trade and economic relations between Russia and Azerbaijan. VTB Bank (Azerbaijan) will support interstate programs, and facilitate the implementation of large Russian-Azerbaijani projects with the Russian capital participation.
OJSC AF Bank is ranked 39th among 46 banks of Azerbaijan in terms of assets. Presently, AF Bank's authorized capital amounts to AZM 7.8 million (or about USD 9.65 million), with its assets approaching AZM 12.2 million (about USD 15.3 million).
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.