* Bank considering IPO among other options for raising
* Seeks to raise retail lending
* Sees resilience in Moscow market where it is focused
By Megan Davies
MOSCOW, March 13 Credit Bank of Moscow, which is
contemplating a possible London initial public offering, is
aiming to increase the proportion of retail loans in its
portfolio betting on the capital's resilience to Russia's
Russia's economic growth slowed to 1.3 percent last year and
events in Ukraine - where Russian forces have seized Crimea
prompting Western calls for sanctions - could knock it further,
causing lasting damage and pushing it into recession. [ID
Credit Bank of Moscow, No. 13 in Russia by assets according
to Interfax data, has a loan portfolio made up of 70 percent
corporate loans and 30 percent retail. The retail loans part has
grown 5 percentage points from a year ago and the bank aims for
it to increase to 40 percent in the coming three-to-four years.
"The retail portion is growing, which is part of the
strategy," Vladimir Chubar, chairman of the management board,
told Reuters. "Next year we want to spend more time on the
The bank is considering several options to raise capital to
grow the business, including a direct injection from existing
shareholders, raising debt or conducting an IPO, he said. In the
case of an IPO, the majority of shares sold would be in the form
of primary shares, or new shares, for the company.
Preparations for an IPO are already advanced with Citi,
Morgan Stanley and Sberbank organising the potential $500
million offering, a source familiar with the situation
previously said. [ID nL6N0JZ2ZN]
However, the Ukraine crisis has meant transactions such as
IPOs are on hold. A source familiar with the deal said the
company was still considering an IPO this year but it would be
difficult to get anything done in the current environment or
second quarter. [ID nL2N0MA0AC]
German retailer Metro's plan for an imminent stock
market listing of a stake in its Russian wholesale business is
under threat, sources previously said. Shares in recently listed
Russian hypermarket chain Lenta have fallen around 10
percent since their recent IPO. [ID nL6N0M01C0]
The bank, majority owned by Russian businessman Roman Avdeev
who is worth $1.4 billion according to Forbes magazine, relies
mainly on its corporate client base to gain retail clients such
as the clients' employees.
"The Moscow concentration is helping us because of the low
unemployment rate," said Chubar, who added that he was not
concerned about a credit bubble or a slowdown.
"We are only focused on Moscow (and the Moscow region). We
see enough growth in (and around) Moscow."
Credit Bank of Moscow is also aiming to double its
5,000-strong payment terminals business, which allow people to
pay bills via stand-alone machines, to around 10,000 in the next
"For us, payment terminals have three (advantages) - service
for clients, risk management ... and fees," said Chubar. "The
transactional data (can be used to) protect our retail loan book
from NPLs (as we use them to gather) data about the customer."
Non-performing loans (NPLs) amounted to 1.3 percent of its
loans in 2013 versus 1 percent the prior year, reflecting the
higher portion of retail loans held by the bank.
The company on Wednesday reported net income for 2013 which
increased 54 percent to 8.9 billion roubles ($244 million),
driven by higher net interest income which was helped by a 54
percent growth in its gross loan portfolio.