UralTransBank’s stockholders might sell some shares, Unicom Partner says

10 January 2008 (09:07)

'I don’t think it’s improbable that UralTransBank’s shareholders might sell a portion of or all of their shares,’ Unicom Partner Investment Company’s Asset Management Director Sergei Kaliberda said to UrBC.

According to Vedomosti newspaper, OTP, a Hungarian firm that has bought Investsberbank earlier, might go on buying banks in Russian provinces, including UralTransBank which is particularly attractive because of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development being one of its shareholders.

'It’s hard to say whether they have any personal reasons to act in this way, yet the general economic situation in the country seems to make the sale reasonable. The global liquidity crisis that had been brought about by the U.S. mortgage problems touched upon the Russian banking business as well. Moreover, there are reasons to think this crisis will still be felt next year, which will make it difficult for small and medium-scale businesses to function. So selling the bank would probably make sense,’ Mr. Kaliberda added.

'The European firm, in its turn, may find it a good buy, since the long-term speculations as to the success of Russian banking business remain positive.’

'As for the earlier prosecution of UralTransBank by domestic law-enforcement agencies, no business can be protected from something like this. I don’t believe these incidents are likely to influence the acquisition negotiations in any way,’ he observed.

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