In order to maintain utmost transparency and comply with international public company standards, VTB continues to hold regular meetings of the Bank's top management with its shareholders. The second meeting with VTB shareholders took place in the Congress Hall of the Cosmos Hotel on 30 October 2008 in the framework of the Bank's information policy.
The meeting was attended by more than 60 VTB shareholders. Mikhail Kuzovlev, VTB First Deputy Chairman, Yuri Soloviev, Head of VTB Group Investment Banking and Senior Vice President, Nikolai Tsekhomski and Olga Dergunova, both Members of the Management Board, addressed the audience.
At the meeting, VTB leaders described the current economic situation both in the world and Russia, commented on the global financial market dynamics and outlined the tasks and challenges VTB will face in the near future.
"Despite the crisis, VTB's decision to aggressively develop its investment business, has not changed", pointed out Yuri Soloviev, Head of VTB Group Investment Banking in his review on Reality of Global Financial Markets in 2008. "After a few months' work, there is a pipeline of large investment projects in our investment portfolio, and we are still confident we can create one of the strongest investment banks in the Russian and CIS market under VTB brand".
Citing Nikolai Tsekhomsky, CFO, "even during the global financial turmoil, VTB Group continues its ordinary course of business and is accumulating a share of customer deals, primarily lending, in its loan portfolio. Thus, the Bank provides financial support to key Russian industries, simultaneously reducing the impact of securities trading on its performance."
In her address, Olga Dergunova, Head of Second Corporate Block, stated that crisis urged the Bank to develop a more selective approach to customer lending, taking into account such factors as loan repayment term, risks and funding costs involved, as well as margin. According to Olga Dergunova, "VTB, however, regards the current crisis environment as an opportunity to enhance its performance and to lay foundation for further expansion of corporate business, primarily, through improving the product range and offering new investment banking products to customers."
Head of PR and communications department Maxim Luniov
Member of the VTB Bank Management Board, CFO Nikolai Tsekhomsky
First Deputy Chairman Mikhail Kuzovlev
Member of the VTB Bank Management Board Olga Dergunova
Head of VTB Group Investment Banking Yuri Soloviev
In the course of the meeting, VTB shareholders and management also discussed the Bank's current activities and business development, as well as prospects for increasing its equity value and improving relationships with shareholders. The discussion also covered a wide range of issues related to the measures taken by the Russian Government to counter the crisis in the world economy.
To conclude, Mikhail Kuzovlev observed that VTB, being a backbone bank, had been actively participating in the government support to the Russian industry and the interbank lending market. "We have every reason to believe that our multi-faceted business, best knowledge of Russian environment, government participation in the equity and strong relations with the leading Russian companies in major economy sectors will enable the Bank to successfully develop even in the complex financial environment", Mikhail Kuzovlev said.
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 April 2008, VTB was the second largest financial group in Russia by assets (USD 108.8 bln.) and by customer accounts (USD 44.6 bln.). VTB 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.