KBC Groep : KBC Group : Absolut Bank acquired by the Russian companies that
manage the pension reserves of Non-State Pension Fund "BLAGOSOSTOYANIE"
Joint Press Release
- Outside Brussels trading hours - Regulated information*
Moscow, Brussels - 24 December 2012
New landmark in KBC Group's divestment programme
- KBC Group NV has decided to sell its Russian banking subsidiary Absolut Bank
to a group of Russian companies, which manage the assets of the 2nd largest
Non-State Pension Fund in Russia, "BLAGOSOSTOYANIE".
- This deal - for a total consideration of 0.3 billion euros and repayment of
all KBC funding that is currently placed within Absolut Bank for the amount of
0.7 billion euros - will free up around 0.3 billion euros of capital for KBC,
primarily by reducing risk-weighted assets by 2 billion euros, which will
ultimately improve KBC's tier-1 ratio by around 0.4% (pro forma impact
calculated on 30 September 2012). The transaction will have no material impact
on KBC's consolidated results in 2012. At closing, an impact of about - 0.1
billion euros on the consolidated result is expected but not on the capital
- The transaction is still subject to regulatory approval. In the meantime and
pending the expected closing of the transaction in the 2nd quarter of 2013,
Absolut Bank with the support of KBC remains fully committed to further
developing its business activities. Being a highly reputed premium brand in
the Russian financial landscape, Absolut Bank's brand name, staff and
management will be maintained in their entirety.
- The divestment of Absolut Bank is another step in the implementation of the
KBC Group's updated strategy of focusing on retail customers, small and
medium-sized enterprises and mid-caps in its core markets of Belgium and
Central and Eastern Europe, while reducing risk-weighted assets. Consequently,
it was decided to earmark Absolut Bank for divestment, notwithstanding its
built-up market presence and expertise.
Johan Thijs, CEO of KBC Group NV commented on the deal: "I am pleased to
announce this deal, which can be considered as another landmark in the
divestment programme of foreign and national assets KBC has committed to
execute with the European Commission. KBC will continue to focus on its core
activity as a bank-insurer in our core markets with a reduced risk-profile.
The new ownership for Absolut Bank is a recognition of the bank's experience
and expertise, and will provide continuity to staff and customers."'
Welcoming the announcement, Mr. Yuri Novozhilov, CEO of BLAGOSOSTOYANIE said:
"The Non-State Pension Fund "BLAGOSOSTOYANIE" supported the offer of the
companies which manage the pension reserves of Non-State Pension Fund to make
an investment of assets of "BLAGOSOSTOYANIE" in the shares of Absolut Bank.
Absolut Bank is a big, solid financial institution. It is among the TOP-45 in
terms of net wealth. The Bank has a wide branch network and a platform that
works according to high-level, western standards. We regard this as a
profitable and secure investment for the pension funds of our clients. The
Non-State Pension Fund "BLAGOSOSTOYANIE" will provide support to Absolut Bank
in its business development".
Mr Nikolai Sidorov, CEO of Absolut Bank concluded:"First of all, the new
shareholder gives Absolut Bank new opportunities. We understand that the good
standing and the long-term resources of the NPF Blagosostoyanie will give a
new impetus to Absolut Bank's development. The experience we've obtained with
change management during the last 5 years will help us provide maximum
predictability and reliability to Absolut Bank's clients, partners and
employees through the transition period. It will also help us maintain the
high quality of services. Results for the first 11 months of 2012 show that
Absolut Bank has earned 1.6 billion RUR. The H1 capital adequacy ratio is
17.44% (RAS). With our new shareholder, we aspire to continue the positive
development trend and to increase our business profitability."
Note for the editors:
About The Non-State Pension Fund "BLAGOSOSTOYANIE" (www.npfb.ru)
The Non-State Pension Fund "BLAGOSOSTOYANIE was founded in 1996.
"BLAGOSOSTOYANIE" is the 2^nd largest Non-State Pension Fund in the Russian
Federation. It provides services in the field of non-state pension provision
and mandatory pension insurance in 80 regions of Russia. Based in Moscow, it
has own assets amounting to €6,5 billion. It has 2.9 million customers. It has
achieved continuous growth in customers, pension savings and reserves.
About KBC (www.kbc.com)
KBC is an integrated multi-channel bancassurance group, catering mainly for
retail, SME and local midcap customers. It concentrates on its home markets of
Belgium and certain countries in Central and Eastern Europe (Czech Republic,
Slovakia, Bulgaria and Hungary). Elsewhere around the globe, the group has
established a presence in selected countries and regions.
KBC provides banking, insurance and asset management products and services via
its integrated distribution channel consisting of bank branches, insurance
agents and brokers and the Internet. KBC's headquarters are located in
Brussels (Belgium), the heart of Europe. The group employs more than 47 000
FTE KBC is listed on NYSE Euronext Brussels (ticker symbol 'KBC').
About Absolut Bank (www.absolutbank.com)
Absolut Bank, a full-service bank founded in 1993, is successfully developing
in the 15 largest regions of Russia. Absolut Bank is among the TOP-45 largest
Russian banks by net assets (RBC Rating), and among the TOP-10 banks by the
size of the mortgage portfolio (RBC Rating). As of 1 December 2012, the bank's
equity amounted to RUB 19 bn, profit - RUB 1.6 bn, while the capital adequacy
ratio N1 as of 1 November 2012 amounted to 17.44%. The Bank's key strategies
are high-quality service, customer base diversification, continuous monitoring
of the loan portfolio quality and conservative approach towards risk
management. The Bank employs nearly 3,000 employees who render services to
more than 140,000 customers.
For further information please contact:
Wim Allegaert, General Manager, Investor Relations, KBC Group NV
Tel. +32 2 429 40 51 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Viviane Huybrecht, General Manager, Group Communications/Spokesperson, KBC
Tel. +32 2 429 85 45 E-mail email@example.com
Tatiana Grosheva, Head of Corporate Communications Department, NPF
Tel. +8 499 262-65-33, ext. 1249 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Elena Sosnovtseva, Director of Communication and Brand department, Absolut
Tel. +7 495 777 71 71 ext 52278, E-mail: email@example.com
*This press release contains information provided in compliance with European
transparency legislation for listed companies.
This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson
The owner of this announcement warrants that:
(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other
applicable laws; and
(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of
information contained therein.
Source: KBC Groep via Thomson Reuters ONE
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