SEB Russian Leasing, a subsidiary of the SEB concern's Eesti Uhispank, hopes to increase its $110 million leasing portfolio to at least $180 million by the end of the year. "We predict the volume of the leasing portfolio at the end of the year at 180-200 million dollars," manager Mart Grunvald said, adding that he did not regard the target as realistic. "The scale is simply different in Russia, large banks don't even handle projects costing less than $300,000 or $500,000," he said. Founded in 1997, SEB Russian Leasing specializes in financing primarily Scandinavian and Baltic companies. The company is based in St. Petersburg and its principal target market is northwestern and central Russia. Around 40 percent of the firm's leasing portfolio is in Estonia.
The Hansabank Group earned a profit of 54.3 million euros in the first quarter of the year, up 27 percent year-on-year and 11 percent against the preceding quarter. The group's revenues totaled 114.5 million euros, a year-on-year increase of 19 percent. The main source of revenue increase was the continued rapid loan growth, which boosted income from both interest and service charges. During the first quarter the group's loan portfolio grew by 500 million euros or 8.3 percent to 6.4 billion euros.