Uniastrum Bank and Bank “the East” began the process of merging

The deal on joining Uniastrum Bank to Bank “East” will be approved at the shareholders ‘ meeting on 7 October, said principal owner of Uniastrum Bank Artem Avetisyan. The result of this merger, the shareholders of Uniastrum Bank will receive 40% shares of the Bank “East”.

“The information that the transaction on merge of Uniastrum Bank and Bank “East” suspended, was misinformation. I can say that an agreement between the shareholders reached a month and a half ago. Nothing has changed. Established a working group, the Association is in full swing. The only technical point that has been associated with a change date of shareholders ‘ meeting. But this is due to the fact that we did not have time to register the Statute,” said Avetisyan.

He reminded that the deal has already received approval by the FAS. TSB supports the integration of Uniastrum Bank and Bank “East”. As a result, only the savings in operating costs amount to 3 billion rubles per year”, — said Avetisyan.

The Central Bank has traditionally declined to comment, citing the fact that do not comment on a situation in operating banks.

According to Avetisyan, the merger will occur by joining Uniastrum Bank (11-th place by assets in the ranking banki.ru) to the Bank “East” (42). “This is a non-monetary connection. As a result, the shareholders of Uniastrum Bank get 40% in the merged Bank. This share includes a stake of 24.9% of the shares of the Bank “East”, purchased by the shareholders of Uniastrum Bank in the course of the June issue. Bank “East” will get competence in small and medium businesses and the banking and service products Uniastrum Bank, which will be replicated in all 550 outlets of the Bank “East”, — said Mr. Avetisyan.

He did not specify whether it planned to issue new shares and in what form. At the same time, according to the materials of the Bank “East”, at the meeting of the Board of Directors (Supervisory Board), scheduled for October 7, will also be discussed the issue of increasing the authorized capital of PJSC CB “Eastern” by placing additional ordinary registered shares.

Earlier it was reported that in June Uniastrum” bought half of the additional issue of “Eastern” (its volume amounted to 3 billion rubles.) with 24.9% in the capital of the Bank, the remaining part of the redeemed structure Baring (owned then of 63.7% of shares).

As noted, the primary owner of Uniastrum Bank, in the future, the combined Bank will have many shareholders. “Controlling interest, no one will. We hope that the Federal Corporation for development of small and medium enterprises will consider joining SME Bank, the shareholders of the merged Bank. It is also planned to agree on joining Credit Europe Bank”, — said Artyom Avetisyan.

According to him, this will create a specialized Bank for small and medium-sized businesses. “We hope that he will be able to cover up to 15-20% of representatives of small and medium-sized businesses. We expect that clients of a banking group by the end of 2018 will be more than 500 thousand subjects of small and average business”, — said the main owner of Uniastrum Bank.

Experts interviewed indicate that the transaction is unnecessarily complex. According to managing partner of the National Agency for financial studies (NAFI) Paul samieva, the challenge that the members of the Association has aimed at a task that until now was impossible to solve. “Russia is not very large banks that spetsializiruyutsya on small business, there are banks with mixed customer base. Here, the claim that this will be the reference Bank to work with small and medium-sized businesses. In addition, the parties to the transaction aimed to join SME Bank, which is a development Bank with specific tasks. This makes the overall strategy for creating a unified banking group non-standard and unnecessarily complicated,” said Pavel Samiev.

In RAEX (Expert RA) expects the transaction will be completed successfully, the deciding factor for the preservation ratings of banks will be the main capital.

“We looked at the Committee ratings “Uniastrum” and “East” in the spring, do not see grounds to revise their ratings. The fact that they are combined has been known before. Perhaps they have experienced any delay in reaching agreement on this issue, and this issue has now been agreed with the Central Bank. Globally, the Association can be useful from the point of view of cost optimization, I think that’s why they are so tight and are working on it”, — said the managing Director on Bank ratings RAEX (Expert RA Stanislav Volkov.

He noted that the quality of credit portfolios of many banks have recently reduced, this can be partly offset by lower expenses. “I believe that the fact of reaching agreements with the Central Bank — very weak positive signal. Perhaps the combined capital will allow them to attract new customers. While we note that the weakest link of both banks, the main capital. If they manage to significantly increase this ratio, it may be grounds for increasing the rating. Meanwhile important sources of replenishment of the capital”, — said S. Volkov.