VTB Capital launches Gulf investment banking business

Published: June 23, 2009

VTB Capital, Russia’s international investment bank owned by VTB Group, the second largest Russian financial institution, announces the launch of its operations in the Gulf and wider MENA region with the opening of its office in Dubai.

Licensed by the DIFC in May 2009, VTB Capital’s Dubai office is the main hub for the planned expansion of its investment business across the region, in line with the bank’s international growth strategy targeting key markets in MENA, Europe and the Far East. It offers the full range of investment banking and advisory services including fixed income and equity sales, commodities, structured products, M&A, ECM and asset management.

Commenting on announcement, Andrei Kostin, CEO of VTB Group, says: “The development of VTB Capital as an investment bank purpose-built for the multi-polar financial markets of tomorrow and with a deep understanding of both the established and newly emerged economies, is a priority for VTB Group and an important part of the group’s strategy. The launch of the new regional base in Dubai is a major step towards that aim and we are fully committed to supporting VTB Capital’s rapid growth and business development in the Gulf, one of the world’s most important investment centres in this new global market environment.”

VTB Capital intends to develop fully-ledged Islamic Finance structuring services to international standards for its clients in Russia and the CIS that will provide attractive, shariah-compliant risk-managed equity, funding and commodities-linked exposure to Russia for Gulf investors, and accelerate the growth of shariah-compliant products in Russia.

Later this year, VTB is set to launch Russia’s first corporate sukuk in an effort to attract oil-rich Gulf investors to the country.

Yuri Soloviev, president and global CEO of Russia’s VTB Capital, says: “We’ve been mandated on the sukuk and we’re targeting this autumn. There’s a huge pool of liquidity in the Gulf waiting for shariah-compliant investment opportunity in Russia.”

He continues: “The potential for increasing financial flows between Russia and the Gulf region, in both directions, is immense and I believe our presence here will accelerate the growth of closer financial ties between these two important regions. As a Russian investment bank with a global presence we are well placed to serve the needs of Middle Eastern clients in the new global environment by broadening the financial opportunities available to them, especially in Russia and the CIS.”