http://www.today.az/news /politics/47487.html
Sept 9 2008

VTB Bank (Armenia) will close its affiliate in Khankendi by the end
of 2008, yet it will continue the investment projects in "Nagorno
Karabakh Republic", said director general and chairman of the board
of VTB Bank (Armenia) Valeri Ovsyannikov.

"The bank is dealing with optimization of the affiliate network,
which envisions issues of qualitative and economically profitable
services in our affiliates and we have primordially stressed the
plans to reduce the number of affiliates", noted Ovsyannikov.

He said as of beginning of 2007 the bank had 100 affiliates and in
line with the optimization plan their number by the end of 2008 should
be reduced to 75.

"The list of the affiliates also included Stepanakert (Khankendi -
Day.Az), yet it is not politically motivated and it is just an economic
process, ongoing in our bank and we close those affiliates which are
economically inexpedient for functioning", said the banker.

Ovsyannikov noted that the bank does not leave the regions and will
continue financing interesting programs and customers, yet it will
be conducted directly from Yerevan or nearby regional affiliates.

"Optimization will cause no damage to the customers, an affiliate
of another bank will be opened on the basis of our affiliate in
Stepanakert (Khankendi - Day.Az) and customers will get full support
and provided with all services", said Ovsyannikov adding that the
bank will be present in the economic area of the "Nagorno Karabakh

He said in case of economic expedience, the activity of the affiliate
in Khankendi will be restored.

The optimization process is caused by the increase of effectiveness
of the work of territorial divisions and the bank in connection
with which the observation council of the VTB Bank decided to open
affiliates in Nor-Abcha, Egvard, Metsamor, Ashotske, including the
affiliate in Khankendi.

It is planning to bring the number of the bank's affiliates to 75
units, including 41 universal (11 in Yerevan and 30 in the regions)
and 34 mini affiliates (20 in Yerevan and 14 in the regions) by late
2008-early 2009.

VTB Bank Armenia (Armsberbank until June 20 of 2006) became a part
of the VTB group in April of 2004. Currently VTB owns 100% stock in
VTB Bank (Armenia).

The founding capital of VTB Bank (Armenia) is 13.9 bln drams, its
authorized capital reached 22.8 bln drams as of September of 2008. The
bank is among the top three biggest banks of Armenia for its main
indicators and it is leading by the number of assets ($1-301.11 drams).

The regional network of the Armenian bank accounts for 80 sale points
in all the regions of the country. International Fitch Ratings granted
short-term B issuer rating and long-term BB+ issuer rating to the
bank in July of 2008. The long-term forecast is "Stable".

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress