Uniastrum has found a way to get into the fifteen largest banks

The owner of Uniastrum Bank Artem Avetisyan

The main owner of Uniastrum Bank and the Director of the direction “New business” Agency of strategic initiatives Artem Avetisyan wants to create on the basis of four banks, Uniastrum Bank “East Express Bank Credit Europe Bank and state Bank banking SME support structures for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), reports “Interfax” citing a source in the financial-economic bloc of the government.

This information confirmed RBC a source in the government, two sources in Uniastrum Bank, a friend Avetisyan and representative of Baring Vostok. According to a source in Uniastrum Bank shareholders also have the project to create a Federal Bank to work with SMEs in the regions. “This requires a regional network of offices, open offices from scratch is more expensive than taking a Bank with existing branches, so there is an idea to combine multiple banks and work programme for small businesses,” says a source.

The press service of Uniastrum Bank information about the Association has not commented. A source close to shareholders “East Express”, confirmed RBC that the planned merger of the Bank with Uniastrum, and said that it can be carried out this year. Bank “East” and Uniastrum Bank are conducting negotiations on the level of shareholders and management about the possibilities and feasibility of the transaction of accession, but the final decision is still pending, told RIA Novosti press-service of the “East”. Funds Baring Vostok, which are key shareholders “East Express”, will become minority owners of the combined Bank, told RBC a source close to shareholders of “Vostochny”. About plans on Association “the East” with another major Bank last year in an interview with RBC told partners Baring Vostok Michael Calvey and Vagan Abgaryan. In may “the East” held the placement of additional shares by 3 billion. In placing participated Uniastrum Bank, whose share in the capital of the “East” should be a little less than 25%.

As reported by Interfax a source in the financial-economic bloc of the government, a letter proposing the creation of a reference Bank for SMEs Avetisyan last week sent President Vladimir Putin, and the letter was imposed positive resolution.

The letter sent Avetisyan Putin is working with first Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, told RBC his representative. The letter also painted the CB Chairman Elvira Nabiullina, told RBC a source close to the ASI.

Vladimir Putin is the head of the Supervisory Board of the ASI. ASI employees are not limited in conducting business, RBC says a source close to the Agency. However, as a rule, if any of the employees of the ASI decided on a major independent project, it will notify the Agency at the highest level, as it could theoretically be a conflict of interest between their own projects and the projects of the ASI. Avetisyan was no exception, said the interlocutor of RBC.

As have informed RBC a source familiar with the text of the letter, Avetisyan painted his plan to merge banks. First will be merged Uniastrum and “East”, then they will be attached “Credit Europe” and then SME Bank, if possible, an amalgamation of three banks and the government as its owner agrees to the deal. SME Bank recently switched from Vnesheconombank to the SME Corporation, headed by Alexander Braverman. Artem Avetisyan since 2012 is a member of the Supervisory Board of SME Bank. “In the letter, Avetisyan stressed that it was not asking for their projects to financial support from the state”, said the interlocutor of RBC familiar with the text of the letter. According to him, President Putin has approved plans Avetisyan, writing “I agree”.

If the project is implemented Avetisyan, the combined Bank assets will reach 591 billion rubles (according to the statements of the four banks of 1 June). The combined entity will be comparable with the Bank “Russia”, which now occupies the 16th place in terms of assets. Of the four banks plan to merge, Uniastrum Bank is the smallest of the four described in the letter: his assets on June 1, amounted to 96,8 billion rubles, assets of the largest Bank “the East,” – 228,5 billion rubles, the Representative of one of the contractors Uniastrum Bank told RBC that was not able to answer the question from Uniastrum what is the logic for such consolidation and how to combine a commercial Bank with development Institute.

Analyst at the National rating Agency Karina Artemiev does not see significant operational risks in the merger of various banks. “You can always make a reformatting,” she says. At the same time Artemyev recalls that now Uniastrum Bank as an independent financial institution develops not only with SMEs, but builds on large corporate. “If the Bank for SMEs is monolinuron, from limits on large corporate projects can be closed,” she adds.