Hansa buys Russian bank as part of expansion

  • 2004-09-29
  • From wire reports
TALLINN - The Hansabank Group announced on Sept. 24 that it had signed an agreement for the purchase of 100 percent of Kvest Bank, a Russia-based financial institution.

Officials said the 3.4 million euro acquisition was part of the bank's strategic plan to provide the full specter of banking services to the Russian market.

The exact price of the stake was to be fixed while closing the deal, which will also need the approval of the Russian Central Bank and the Estonian Financial Supervisory Authority, Hansabank officials said.

Indrek Neivelt, chairman of Hansabank's board, told the Baltic News Service that the exact size of Kvest's shareholders' equity was still undecided and would eventually be determined by Hansabank's supervisory board. But he did say that the size of the paid-in shareholders' equity would be in the range of $100 million.

The total assets of Kvest Bank, which was founded in 1994, amounted to $2.7 million as of June 30, 2004, with shareholders equity at $1.6 million.

Bank officials reportedly said that, according to midterm strategy, Kvest would account for some 10 percent of Hansabank Group's assets, which currently comprise 7 billion euros.

Druvis Murmanis, managing director of Hansabank Russia, said that they would most likely change the name of Kvest Bank to Hansabank. Murmanis said that at the moment Kvest was still a small financial institution, but one with all the necessary licenses for banking operations - the simplest way for Hansabank to enter the Russian market.

The earlier shareholders of Kvest Bank were six little-known Russian companies.