Russia's VTB Capital Enters Balkans via Bulgaria
VTB Capital, the Investment Business of Russian banking group VTB, has entered the Balkans by starting business operations in Bulgaria.
VTB Capital has entered the Balkan market as part of its international development strategy, top executives of VTB told journalists at a news conference in the Bulgarian capital Sofia on Thursday.
The opening ceremony was attended by Andrey L. Kostin (President and Chairman of the Management Board of VTB Bank, Member of the Supervisory Council), Yuri Soloviev (First Deputy President and Chairman of the Management Board of VTB Bank, Chairman of VTB Capital holding companies Board of Directors), Herbert Moos (Deputy President and Chairman of the Management Board of VTB Bank), Alexey Yakovitsky (Global CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of VTB Capital holding companies) and Atanas Bostandjiev (CEO, UK and International of VTB Capital plc.)
As part of the reception marking the office opening, VTB Capital's top management spoke about the company's strategy in the Central and Eastern Europe market, its plans to develop the investment business in Balkans, and VTB Capital's main products.
On hand were soloists of the Young Artists Opera Program from the world renowned Bolshoi Theatre who performed at the official opening ceremony of VTB Capital's Sofia office.
The newly established company VTB Capital AD is headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The CEO of VTB Capital AD is Milen Velchev, reporting to Atanas Bostandjiev, CEO, UK and International of VTB Capital plc. Veltchev has served as Bulgaria's Finance Minister in 2001-2005.
VTB Capital AD will provide investment banking services, including debt and equity capital markets origination and advice, mergers and acquisitions advice and the introduction of principal investment opportunities.
Over the next few years the newly established office is expected to grow to approximately 20 staff.
"We are confident that the opening of VTB Capital's office in Sofia, will allow us to strengthen our strategic position in the Balkan region and in Central and Eastern Europe as a whole. Historically, Russia and the Balkan countries have developed close economic and cultural ties, and VTB Capital is ideally suited for further development, providing customers with high-quality investment banking services," Alexey Yakovitsky, Global CEO at VTB Capital, Chairman of the Management Board of VTB Capital holding companies, declared at a press conference in Bulgaria's capital Sofia on Thursday.
"The current economic climate in the CEE and the diminishing presence of EU investors in the region provide VTB Capital with an excellent opportunity to enter the local markets" said in turn Atanas Bostandjiev, CEO, UK and International of VTB Capital plc.
VTB Capital, the Investment Business of VTB Group, is one of the three strategic business arms of VTB Group, along with the corporate and retail businesses. Since its foundation in 2008, VTB Capital has taken part in more than 235 ECM and DCM deals, which were instrumental in attracting more than USD 96.3 B worth of investments to Russia and CIS.
VTB Capital offers a full range of investment banking products and services to Russian and international clients, focusing on arranging operations in the debt, equity, global commodities markets, developing investment and asset
management, advising clients on M&A and ECM deals in Russia and abroad. VTB Capital operates in Moscow, London, Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, Sofia, New York, Paris and Vienna, with headquarters in Moscow.
VTB Capital holds top positions in the debt and equity capital markets in Russia and CIS according to the league tables for 2011 by Dealogic and Bloomberg.
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With the the gigantic growth of Asia development, just like once upon a time the Balkans, Black and Caspian sea regions strategic developments are just starting. The Balkans Renaissance explains the significance of the rebirth of Great Europe, just like once upon a time. The rush and the battle for the Balkans and the Black and Caspian sea regions strategic positioning is going to be hutch and boastful.
Great news for Bulgaria! VTB is one of Russia's top banks. I hope this sets a trend and we get more Russian investment in the country. Russians are already the top international buyers of real estate in Bulgaria. It is only natural for their companies to enter Bulgaria and use our country as their gateway to the CEE region and to the EU.
Just like China's Great Wall is investing here and will set a precedent for Chinese companies interested in expanding in the EU from a low cost base I hope the entry of VTB Capital in Bulgaria heralds the beginning of significant Russian investment and top of the line Russian companies choosing our country as their vehicle for expansion in the region and the EU.