Armsberbank to become Russian Vneshtorgbank subsidiary

ITAR-TASS News Agency
March 24, 2004 Wednesday

Armsberbank to become Russian Vneshtorgbank subsidiary

By Tigran Liloyan


One of largest Armenian banks — Armsberbank became a subsidiary bank
of the Russian Vneshtorgbank. Under the agreement signed on Wednesday
Vneshtorgbank purchased the controlling interest or 70 percent of the
Armenian bank stock.

Vneshtorgbank President Andrei Kostin noted that this is the first
such action on the post-Soviet space. The purchase of the Armenian
bank is another step to implement the strategy of the Vneshtorgbank
development that envisages the development of the network of
subsidiary banks in Europe and CIS countries.

“The political stability, rapid economic growth and certainly growing
needs of the country’s economy are among causes of Vneshtorgbank
activities in Armenia,” Kostin emphasized. Armsberbank will provide
loans to Russian enterprises operating in Armenia including the
national gas producer Gazprom, power grid United Energy Systems of
Russia and Airlines Sibir.

Apart for the investment activities the Vneshtorgbank leadership
intends to continue development of traditional banking services for
population, Kostin pointed out.

“Armenia will gain much from the deal,” one of leading Armenian
businessmen and chairman of the Armsberbank board Mikhail Bagdasarov
remarked. According to him, “Vneshtorgbank coming to Armenia cut the
distance between the countries and their economies, and it will make
Russia and Armenia closer.”