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VTB, Bank of Moscow, Rosselkhozbank Brush Off Sanctions

Published: July 31, 2014 (Issue # 1822)



  • Russian bank VTB Bank on Wednesday called U.S. sanctions politicized and 'completely inappropriate.'
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / The St. Petersburg Times

Russian bank VTB Bank on Wednesday declared U.S. sanctions politicized and "completely inappropriate" but said that they will not prevent the bank from raising capital when needed, while Bank of Moscow and Rosselkhozbank, also struck by Washington, said the measures will have little impact on their business.

In an emailed statement, VTB, Russia's second largest banking group, said that the United States' decision was "exclusively politically motivated, unjust, in contradiction of legal frameworks and causing mutual economic damage."

At the same time, VTB said that it "is sure" that it can generate capital abroad when needed, and that the sanctions will not prevent the banking group from fulfilling its obligations to shareholders, clients and investors.

"VTB has a good reputation among international investors and has excellent expertise in borrowing not only on Western markets," the statement said.

The U.S. on Tuesday expanded its economic sanctions against Russia to include VTB, its subsidiary Bank of Moscow and the Russian Agricultural Bank, or Rosselkhozbank. The sanctions will bar U.S. persons and people on U.S. territory from transacting with the targeted banks and providing them with new equity or debt with a maturity period of longer than 90 days.

"In light of Russia's continuing support for separatists in Ukraine, we took additional steps today to further increase financial pressure on the Russian government," U.S. Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said in a statement.

Bank of Moscow, which unlike its parent company is focused almost exclusively on the internal market, said that the sanctions will "not impact business at all."

"Funding from external loans is insignificant and does not exceed 2 percent of the bank's balance sheet," the bank said in a statement, adding that its last loans in foreign currencies were taken out in 2010.

In an online statement, Rosselkhozbank said that it is operating normally and does not expect any negative impact from U.S. or European Union sanctions.

Along with the other targeted banks, "Rosselkhozbank may turn to the Russian government with a request for support, which will be completely reasonable," a member of the bank's advisory committee was quoted as saying.

While Bank of Moscow and Rosselkhozbank responded to all impending sanctions, VTB only addressed those imposed Tuesday by the U.S., ignoring the European Union sanctions that are set to fall on the banks on Thursday.

The EU member states agreed on Tuesday to bar European people and companies from buying or sell new bonds, equity and other financial instruments with maturity periods of longer than 90 days to majority state-owned Russian banks and their subsidiaries.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Nov. 26


AmCham’s Public Relations Committee will meet this afternoon in their office in the New St. Isaac’s Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha at 4 p.m.


Zoosphere, an international exhibition focusing on the pet industry, opens today at the Lenexpo convention center on Vasilievsky Island. Not only will items such as toys, terrariums and accessories be available for purchase, but animal enthusiasts can also learn about the latest in veterinary medicine and behavioral training thanks to the conferences and presentations that are part of the event.



Thursday, Nov. 27


The Customs and Transportation Committee for AmCham meets this morning at 9 a.m. in their office on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.


Tickets are still available for local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg’s showdown with Siberian club Metallurg Novokuznetsk tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Ice Palace outside the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. Tickets can be purchased on the team’s website, at the arena box office or in their merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.


Celebrate one of Russian literature’s most tragic figures during Blok Days, a two-day celebration of the 134th anniversary of the poet’s birthday. The tragic tenor’s work, which led to writer Maxim Gorky to hail him as Russia’s greatest living poet before his death in 1921, will be recited and meetings and discussions about his contributions to the Silver Age of literature in St. Petersburg will be discussed in the confines of his former residence.



Friday, Nov. 28


Join table game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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