(Corrects Oct. 22 story to show that the investor in the first paragraph is ABH Financial Ltd, the holding company for Alfa Bank, not Alfa Bank itself, after the bank’s clarification)
By Tatiana Voronova
SOCHI, Russia, Oct 22 (Reuters) - ABH Financial Ltd, which controls Russia’s biggest private bank, is backing a recently launched fund which aims to invest $500 million in financial technology (fintech), as part of a search for innovative ideas and systems, a senior bank executive said.
ABH Financial Ltd, the parent of private bank Alfa Bank, did not say how much it was investing in Corviglia Capital, launched last week, but said it would be a cornerstone investor in the fund.
The investment comes as banks around the world test new services to capitalise on technological changes and meet the challenge of new fintech companies. In Russia, the leading banks in the fintech area have so far been state bank Sberbank and private player Tinkoff.
Vladimir Verkhoshinsky, Alfa’s first deputy chairman, told Reuters the capital commitment to Corviglia should allow the investor to find projects useful for the bank’s business in the area. He said other global investors were also backing Corviglia but did not disclose them.
Corviglia, set up in Luxembourg by Petr Shmida, a former executive of Alfa Bank, and Polish entrepreneur Cezary Smorszczewski, aims to invest $250 million in the next three years, putting between $10 million and $50 million into individual projects, according to its website.
Longer term it aims to attract $500 million in capital. (Reporting by Tatiana Voronova Writing by Katya Golubkova Editing by David Holmes)