20 april 2012

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with VTB Bank President Andrei Kostin

Mr Putin and Mr Kostin discussed a project that had previously been advanced by the prime minister, stipulating the buyback of VTB Bank shares from minority shareholders. The prime minister believes that the bank will become even more attractive after this move, “keeping in mind that you are meeting people halfway, and that you are not abandoning your minority shareholders in a difficult situation.”

Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: Mr Kostin, could you say a few words about the buyback of minority shareholders’ stakes?

Andrei Kostin: Mr Putin, we have finished receiving requests from minority shareholders who had bought shares during the 2007 IPO. In all, about 75,000 requests worth some 11.5 billion roubles have been submitted. The average request totals about 150,000 roubles. This means that the aim we set ourselves is reached, as our project was targeted at people with good incomes, the middle class, rather than major investors.

This measure will garner considerable interest among the people of Russia during the subsequent privatisation in conditions of the rather complicated national stock market. All proceeds will be remitted to shareholders' accounts by May 1, 2012.

I would also like to note that the number of shareholders has been growing steadily since the IPO. There were 165,000 shareholders before the buyback. This means that their number has increased by 40,000 in the past five years. We will have about 90,000 shareholders left even after the buyback. That’s also quite a lot.

People are very interested in the bank, which is posting a good performance. We have boosted net profits by 50% this past year, and we made a good showing at the end of the first quarter of 2012. That’s why I think that this number will continue to increase, although some shareholders have preferred to take advantage of this buyback proposal today.

Vladimir Putin: I think that the bank will become even more attractive, keeping in mind that you are meeting people halfway, and that you are not abandoning your minority shareholders in a difficult situation. On the contrary, you are extending them a helping hand, and you are ready to buy their shares back. I think that, on the contrary, this serves as an advertisement for VTB to some extent, and it will help attract new investors.

Andrei Kostin: I think so too, Mr Putin because there is, of course, pure theory, but there are real people standing behind this theory, who want to take part in new nationwide processes, and, of course, these processes must be supported.

And thank you very much for your support and for your initiative on this issue.