TALLINN - Hansabank, the Baltic states' largest financial group, has successfully completed the acquisition of the Moscow-based Kvest bank and expects to open its first office in Russia by April or May.
"Representatives of the two banks signed the final agreement on March 10. Hansabank pays 3.4 million U.S. dollars (2.5 million euros) for 100 percent of Kvest bank's shares," Hansabank said in a release on March 11.
Indrek Neivelt, CEO of Hansabank Group, said the acquisition process was started half a year ago, and that everything had gone according to plan.
"Entering the Russian banking market is an important strategic step for Hansabank Group," Neivelt said.
As of March 10, Kvest's management board members are Druvis Murmanis as chairman, Lauri Reinberg, Eduard Shaihutdinov and Anna Bogunova.
Council members are Indrek Neivelt (chairman), Lennart Lundberg, Robert Charpentier, Aivo Adamson and Kristina Siimar.
Murmanis, managing director of the Russian operation, said the acquisition would allow Hansabank to offer its customers a complete range of corporate banking services in Russia.
"We have already completed most of the preparatory work for opening our first branch, and in a few months we will be ready to offer our customers in Russia the same high-quality service that they have become used to in our other banks," he said.
The first Hansabank branch is set to open in Moscow this April or May. Branches in St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad will open shortly afterward. Hansabank currently employs 45 people in Russia and is planning to increase the number to 190 by the end of 2005.
The bank's total assets amounted to 2.9 million euros and shareholders' equity reached 1.3 million euros as of Feb. 28, 2005. Hansabank will increase Kvest's equity to 81 million euros after completing the acquisition.