MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian second-largest lender VTB (VTBR.MM) will consider acquiring mid-sized Vozrozhdenie bank (VZRZ.MM), VTB head Andrei Kostin said, according to Russian news agencies on Wednesday.
Russia’s banking sector is under intense scrutiny after the central bank was forced to bail out three of the country’s largest private lenders in the second half of 2017.
Market participants have since speculated about a possible buyer for Vozrozhdenie, Russia’s 36th largest lender by assets. Vozrozhdenie was previously controlled by private bank Promsvyazbank, which the central bank rescued in December.
Kostin told reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that the senior management of state-run VTB would consider acquiring Vozrozhdenie after their return to Moscow.
“We don’t know yet, our retail department says there might be some interest there. But we can’t see the situation with Vozrozhdenie clearly, we have never looked at or analyzed this bank,” Kostin was quoted as saying by Interfax.
“We don’t know if there are other bidders. After returning from Davos, we will now probably work on this and take a look.”
Vozrozhdenie declined to comment.
A source close to Vozrozhdenie management told Reuters that VTB had shown interest in buying the mid-sized bank, but there had been no meaningful talks yet.
The source said about 10 banks and companies were also interested in buying a share in Vozrozhdenie or taking it over.
Vozrozhdenie’s shares on the Moscow Exchange jumped more than 10 percent on reports of Kostin’s comments and traded up 8 percent at 547 roubles ($9.70) per a share as of 0817 GMT.
($1 = 56.3717 roubles)
Reporting by Maria Kiselyova and Tatiana Voronova; Writing by Jack Stubbs; Editing by Andrey Ostroukh and Edmund Blair