Otkritie is now Russia’s largest private bank

Tim Wallace
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OTKRITIE Capital yesterday began its purchase of Petrocommerce Bank, an acquisition that will make it Russia’s largest private bank and fourth biggest lender overall.

The bank – which has a London-based unit, Otkritie Securities – is a major lender in the oil industry, with Rosneft as a principal client.

The takeover of Petrocommerce Bank brings it another client, Lukoil, giving the group a strong position in the energy market.

The group has begun the acquisition by taking a 20 per cent stake in Petrocommerce Bank from its majority owner IFD Kapital.

And it plans to buy another 75 per cent stake, funded by a rights issue, by the end of 2014, giving it 95 per cent ownership.

Otkritie began trading in 2008 and the group became a top 40 bank in Russia as recently as the start of 2013.

But its acquisition of Nomos Bank earlier this year propelled it up the rankings, a move cemented by yesterday’s Petrocommerce Bank purchase.

“It has been pretty meteoric,” Howard Snell, executive chairman of the UK arm, told City A.M.

“This deal opens so many doors. We’ve gone from a tiny institution where we have to try to get people to work with us to the biggest private bank in Russia where people have to work with us if they want access to these industries.”