VTB Capital, the investment arm of Russia’s second-biggest bank, may add staff to handle deals in Asia and Africa as it seeks to build itself into a global emerging markets bank to counter a recession at home and sanctions that limit its ability to expand in Europe and the U.S.
“The issues around the oil price and of what’s happened around Russia geopolitically made us even more focused on places where we’re dealing with friendly countries, cost of capital is not a problem, being a Russian state-controlled bank isn’t a problem, ” Andrew Cornthwaite, head of international global banking at VTB Capital, said in an interview in Moscow.
Many of VTB Capital’s overseas operations are in China, Turkey, Southeastern Europe, Africa and India, while more than half of deals abroad have no link to Russian banks or companies, Cornthwaite said. International deals are still a small part of the firm’s business, and the team will grow with the business, he said.
VTB Capital will keep trading offices in New York and London to be close to U.S. and European investors, who remain large buyers of Russian securities, Cornthwaite said.