Russian Vneshtorgbank Continues Transcaucasian Expansion

May 31 2004

One of Russia's leading universal banks Vneshtrogbank has reached a
principal agreement with the United Georgian Bank over the purchase
of latter's controlling shares. The information was published on the
bank's official web site on May 28. The agreement was reached during
a visit of Vneshtorgbank's delegation to Georgia. The details of the
deal are not reported.

"The purchase of shares of the Georgian bank will promote the
implementation of the Vneshtorgbank strategy, which envisages the
development of its network in the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent
States] countries," the news release, issued by the VneshTorgBank
reads. First Deputy Chairman of Russian bank Vladimir Levin said that
Vneshtorgbank sees "the banking services' markets in CIS countries
as having a lot of potential".

As MosNews reported in March, Vneshtorgbank already purchased a 70
percent stake in Armenian Savings Bank and announced then that it
plans to enter the retail business of providing banking services to
regular citizens. Acquisition of United Georgian Bank signals the
seriousness of Vneshtorgbank's intentions "to occupy the market niche
of main clearing bank in the CIS countries".

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress