Otkritie Might Be Buying Nomos for VTB, Troika Dialog Says

Russia’s Otkritie Financial Corp. might be acquiring Nomos Bank on behalf of its shareholder VTB Group, according to analysts at Troika Dialog.

Otkritie, which is 20 percent owned by state-run VTB, plans to increase its stake in closely held Nomos to 100 percent within two years from 19.9 percent, the Moscow-based lenders said last week.

VTB’s role in providing Otkritie with a $1 billion loan for the deal may “indirectly” point to its interest in acquiring Nomos, Troika Dialog analysts wrote in a report e-mailed today. VTB may provide Otkritie with the loan to help fund a $2 billion deal, Russian newspaper Gazeta.ru reported yesterday.

“It is unclear whether Otkritie is acting as the principal in this transaction or merely represents some larger player, such as VTB,” according to Troika Dialog, a brokerage which was acquired by VTB’s competitor OAO Sberbank.

VTB last year acquired Bank of Moscow and OAO TransCreditbank as part of an expansion into consumer and corporate lending. Sberbank, which has almost 50 percent of Russia’s deposits, bought Moscow brokerage Troika Dialog in January to compete with VTB’s investment banks.

Alexey Karakhan, a Moscow-based spokesman for Otkritie, declined to comment by phone on “market rumors.” VTB Group’s press service said the bank doesn’t plan to buy Nomos. “This information is not true,” VTB said.

Final Buyer

“VTB is probably the final buyer for Nomos because Nomos is not in the same business as Otkritie and it’s difficult to imagine what synergies there could be,” said Andrey Lifchits, who helps manage $150 million in assets at Russian hedge fund Spectrum Partners in Moscow, said. Otkritie is acting on behalf of a third party, which is probably VTB, Lifchits said in e- mailed comments today.

VTB will retain a stake of as much as 10 percent in the new entity, Otkritie’s Karakhan said. Otkritie Chief Executive Officer Vadim Belyaev and management will control as much as 25 percent, while companies affiliated with Chairman Boris Mints, business executive Alexander Mamut and billionaire shareholder Alexander Nesis will each have 10 percent, he said.

Nomos climbed for the fourth day, adding 0.6 percent to 795 rubles by 5 p.m. in Moscow.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Corcoran in Moscow at jcorcoran13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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