Increase in Hansabank's Russian operation

  • 2004-11-01
  • From wire reports
TALLINN - The share of Russian operations in Hansabank profits could grow to 10 percent in three years, according to Board Chairman Indrek Neivelt.

Neivelt said that the operational development of Kvest bank, which Hansabank acquired in Russia, was going as planned, adding that it was not project scarcity, but the bank's risk-readiness that could limit growth in Russia.

"Considering the size of the market, one-third of our operations could theoretically be in Russia in three years, but this is not our aim. It is not our aim to become a Russian bank with some operations in the Baltic countries," Neivelt said.

Following Russia's risk and development, Hansabank could consider increasing its share of Russian operations if the bank's market rating should improve. However, at present, Neivelt said this was not an issue.

Hansabank bought the Russian-owned Kvest bank in September, which has all the necessary licenses for expansion. Kvest's total assets at the end of the first half of the year stood at $2.7 million with $1.6 million in equity.

The proportion of Russian companies in Hansabank's loan portfolio is currently at 3 percent.

Hansabankas, Lithuania's second biggest bank by assets, announced on Oct. 29 a consolidated net profit of 81.6 million litas (23.65 million euros) for the first nine months of 2004, a rise of 41.2 percent from a net profit of 57.8 million litas year-on-year.

Hansabankas, which is a member of Hansabank, the largest financial group in the Baltics, said that this year's profit growth was largely due to its rapidly expanding loan portfolio.