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Feb 25 (Reuters) - (The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Fitch Ratings has published its latest ‘Russian Banks Datawatch’, a monthly publication of spreadsheets with key data from Russian banks’ statutory accounts. The latest issue includes balance sheet numbers as of 1 February 2014, as well as changes in January 2014. In addition, charts indicate changes in the last month for Russia’s main state-related, privately-owned, foreign-owned and retail banks.
Fitch notes the following key developments in January 2014:
- Corporate lending increased by a moderate 2.6%, but was stronger at Sberbank (4%) and Gazprombank (5.4%), with the rest of the sample in aggregate showing slower 0.8% growth.
- Retail lending almost stalled (0.2% monthly growth compared with 3% monthly average for 2013) with Orient Express, OTP and Svyaznoy even showing a small contraction. The sharp slowdown is typical for January, and Fitch expects growth to gradually pick up and reach above 20% this year.
- Disclosure of two additional regulatory capital adequacy ratios at 1 February 2014 (core Tier 1 (N1.1), 5% minimum) and Tier 1 (N1.2), 5.5%) confirmed our initial expectation that banks would be able to cope with local Basel III requirements without extra capital contributions. At the same time, five banks (Sviaz-Bank, VUZ-Bank, NB TRUST, Novikombank and SMP) had rather tight core Tier 1 ratios of below 6%.
- The total regulatory capital ratios (N1, 10% minimum) of the sample banks decreased by 60 bps on average and eight banks from the sample reported ratios below 11%. This was mainly the result of weak performance, in turn probably due to deferral of impairment recognition to improve last year’s results, and in some cases negative asset revaluations. Some banks reported sizable equity contractions in January, including Promsvyaz (-4.6%), Uralsib (-3%), MDM (-2.8%), Svyaznoy (-9.4%), Orient Express (-6.9%) and Rencredit (-4.8%).
- Retail deposits were generally stable with the exception of a large RUB345bn outflow from Sberbank (equal to 4.5% of its end-2013 retail funding) - a partial rebound of a RUB656bn inflow in December.
- Corporate funding increased by RUB668bn (4.4%). The combined inflows at Sberbank, VTB group and Gazprombank were larger than this, at RUB930bn, while some banks reported considerable outflows, including Unicredit (RUB74bn, 15% of total customer accounts at end-2013), Alfa-Bank (RUB51bn, 6%), Credit Bank of Moscow (RUB22bn, 7%). We believe the fluctuations are seasonal and not representative of a general trend.
- Government funding moderately increased by about RUB204bn or 4%, in line with expectations.
‘Russian Banks Datawatch 1M14’ is available at www.fitchratings.com or by clicking the link below
Link to Fitch Ratings’ Report: Russian Banks Datawatch 1M14 - Excel file