Russia's VTB Capital plans further expansion in Asia

Yuri Soloviev, president and global CEO of Russian investment bank VTB Capital, explains his firm's strategy ahead of the FinanceAsia/AsianInvestor Russia Capital Raising and Investment Summit in Hong Kong.
Yuri Soloviev
Yuri Soloviev

Which countries, markets and types of business are you concentrating on?
VTB Capital acts as a local partner for global investors wishing to participate in the success of the Russian market, and offers comprehensive support in the world's financial centres, both in Russia and abroad. Currently, VTB Capital keeps developing our businesses in Europe, MENA (Middle East and North Africa) and Asia-Pacific. We have offices in Moscow, London, Singapore and Dubai, with headquarters in Moscow.

We are looking at quality expansion through the existing VTB Group offices. VTB Group has a wide network of foreign offices: in CIS (the Commonwealth of Independent States, also known as the former members of the Soviet Union), Germany, France, Austria, India, Vietnam, China, etcetera. Today, we are actively working with VTB Group in China, Austria and Vietnam, and planning to engage their offices in Africa and India. In the short term, though, setting up our office in New York is our main goal. Not having an office in North America is a major obstacle for us right now, because many clients cannot trade with brokers registered outside the US.

In terms of our major business lines, I would like to mention that VTB Capital focuses on arranging operations in the debt, equity, global commodities markets, developing private investments, asset management, and on advising clients on mergers and acquisitions and equity capital markets deals in Russia and abroad.

Do you have plans to open more offices in Asia and hire new people?
Yes, we keep developing our businesses in Hong Kong and Singapore and are working on setting up offices in China, Vietnam and India.

What is your role in the proposed initial public offerings of Russian companies in Hong Kong?
VTB Capital acted as a joint bookrunner in the recent listing of UC Rusal on the Hong Kong stock exchange and we have been engaged in active discussions with a number of corporates who are currently contemplating listing on international stock exchanges, including the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Are the increasing ties between Russia and Asia a simple model of Russia exporting energy and natural resources to Asia and importing Asian manufactured goods?
The relationship between Russia and Asia is complex and multi-faceted; it is far too simplistic to think of it in this single dimension. Russia is an increasingly sophisticated economy with great strength in natural resources, but also in technology, manufacturing, investment and finance. A number of cornerstone strategic agreements have been signed at the highest level. We at VTB Capital expect this synergy to keep growing.

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