VTB Seeks $3 Billion Selling Stock to Lift Capital Levels

VTB Group, Russia’s second-largest lender, plans to raise as much as $3 billion selling new shares in Moscow as it seeks to boost regulatory capital.

The state-run bank set the price for new stock at 4.1 kopeks, a discount to today’s closing price on Russia’s Micex Index of 4.5 kopeks. The Moscow-based lender plans to issue 2.5 trillion new ordinary shares through an open subscription, according to a statement today. Existing shareholders will have a pre-emptive right to buy the new equity, the bank said.

VTB will use the funds raised to lift capital adequacy levels after acquisitions including OAO Bank of Moscow and OAO TransCreditBank as well as a buyback for minority investors depleted funds. The government owned 75.5 percent of VTB as of Dec. 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from shareholder filings.

The main investors will probably be Russian businessmen, the Interfax newswire reported, citing an unidentified person in financial markets.

The share sale will take place on the Moscow Exchange, Chief Financial Officer Herbert Moos said April 24. It will be “very hard” for VTB to place the entire amount in Moscow due to relatively low trading volumes, Moos told reporters.

VTB rose 0.5 percent to $2.84 in London today.