VTB More Than Doubles Profit in 2015 as Provision Charge Drops

VTB Group’s profit more than doubled in 2015 as Russia’s second-largest bank set aside less money to cover bad loans.

Net income rose to 10.7 billion rubles ($156 million) compared with 4.1 billion rubles a year earlier, the lender said in a statement on its website.  Net interest income fell 17 percent to 289 billion rubles, while its provision charge dropped 35 percent to 178 billion rubles.

VTB, which is sanctioned by the U.S. and European Union over the Kremlin’s role in the Ukraine conflict, has struggled amid low oil prices and the ruble’s collapse. The Russian economy in 2016 is expected to contract for a second year, its longest recession in two decades.

“We also ended the year with much stronger capital adequacy ratios and a healthy liquidity position, leaving us well placed to benefit as economic conditions improve,” VTB Chief Executive Officer Andrey Kostin said in the statement.

Sberbank PJSC, the country’s biggest lender, reported a 2015 profit of 223 billion rubles on Tuesday.

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