Источник: The Financial Times
BNP first to buy Russian retail bank.
BNP Paribas, the French bank, yesterday became the first foreign group to acquire a Russian retail bank when it announced plans to pay about Dollars 300m for a stake in Russian Standard Bank, the country’s leading consumer credit provider.
BNP said it would acquire 50 per cent of a holding company that owns more than 90 per cent of RSB. The International Finance Corporation, a private sector finance unit of the World Bank, owns 6.4 per cent.
By buying into one of the pioneers of consumer credit in Russia, BNP is putting itself in a leading position in a sector that is expected to mushroom over the coming decade. RSB helped introduce Russians to the concept of in-store credit, which most Russian banks had considered
laborious and risky.
The deal is part of BNP’s search to invest more than Euros 5bn (Dollars 6bn) of excess capital and to expand its Cetelem consumer credit subsidiary, the European market leader already present in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland.
Jean Clamon, BNP’s chief operating officer, said it was betting on Russia’s relatively young consumer finance sector, which has grown on average 65 per cent annually since 2001. “Russia has strong growth and fantastic potential,” he said.
RSB made net profits of Dollars 59m in the first half of 2004, compared with Dollars 58m last year. It already has an insurance joint venture with BNP’s Cardif life subsidiary.
BNP’s move comes at a time of renewed worries about the stability of the Russian banking sector as a whole. Many Russian banks have been forced to seek capital injections to compensate for a sudden increase in rates on the interbank lending market and withdrawals of personal deposits by jittery Russians.
BNP could increase its stake through put and call options. But it said Roustam Tariko, RSB’s founder, would remain chairman. “The team will stay in place as their knowledge of the Russian market is essential,” said Mr Clamon. The deal is subject to approval by competition and banking authorities. BNP was advised by its own corporate finance team.