Details added (first version posted at 11:23)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 2
By Maksim Tsurkov, Anvar Mammadov – Trend:
Working with legal entities will become a priority for the VTB Bank Azerbaijan in 2017, Mikhail Oseevskiy, deputy president and chairman of management board of Russia’s VTB Bank, told reporters at a press briefing in Baku Nov. 2.
Oseevskiy, who is also chairman of supervisory board of VTB Bank Azerbaijan, said two main challenges are faced by the management of the VTB Bank Azerbaijan.
“The first one is related with devaluation of Azerbaijani manat,” Oseevskiy said. “Repayment of bad loans, their restructuring is hard and unpleasant work, but, nevertheless, we consider it very important and necessary to improve our financial indicators.”
“The second challenge is related with attracting new customers, implementing the new strategy of the bank,” he added. “We see good results here, and we would like to return to profit in 2018. This depends on how the economic programs are implemented.”
He noted that in the first place, the bank aims to attract legal entities as customers.
“Although we are famous for our work with individuals, our shareholders would like to expand and strengthen the work with legal entities,” Oseevskiy noted. “Under the new strategy, we would like to strengthen our work on development of trade between Russia and Azerbaijan, as well as support Russian businessmen working in Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani businessmen working in Russia.”
He went on to add that the main challenge currently faced by VTB Bank Azerbaijan is the high level of dollarization in Azerbaijan.
“Russia also faced a similar problem, so time is needed for Azerbaijani manat to become the main means of payment,” he said. “We are waiting for a road map that should come in the near future in order to understand what measures exactly we will take in this direction. But currently, Azerbaijan’s banking sector experiences deficit of manat, and therefore we are looking for some alternatives in order to lend to our customers.”
He noted that lending in Russian rubles is one of these alternatives.
“We would like to offer everyone, whose business is mainly related to Russia, to lend in rubles,” Oseevskiy said.
Another challenge faced by the VTB Bank Azerbaijan is investment lending, which requires resources, he said.
“We expect that developmental institutions, able to partially or fully provide this kind of funding, will enter the government programs,” Oseevskiy added. “However, we can provide investment loans with 5 to 7 years of maturity to companies with strong positions in the Russian market.”