As confidence in the Russian banking system slowly begins to rebound, private equity firm Baring Vostok Capital Partners aims to acquire a 20% stake in Orient Express Bank. BVCP originally asked Russia’s Central Bank for a 30% stake, but will settle for 20% pending the bank’s decision. Speculation places the value of a 30% stake at USD 255 million.
Although Russian banks were hit hard by the financial crisis, the industry is expected to experience increased loan growth in 2011, sparking interest in the Russian banking sector among many investors. There is speculation that BVCP plans to use Orient Express Bank to consolidate future Russian investments. The firm also presently owns of a stake in Kazakhstan’s Kaspi Bank.
Orient Express Bank (www.express-bank.ru)
Orient Express Bank is a joint-stock company first registered in Russia in the spring of 1991. The bank is involved in both retail and commercial banking services including auto loans, mortgages, credit cards, and bank deposits.
The bank finds the current burgeoning Chinese economy as an attractive target for investments and has working relationships with other banks around the world including Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Commerzbank, Credit Suisse, Raiffeisen Bank, and VTB Deutschland.
Orient Express has ten branch offices and more than 300 retail outlets throughout Russia.
Baring Vostok Capital Partners (www.bpep.com)
Baring Vostok Capital Partners is a leading private equity firm active primarily in Russia and the CIS. Since 1994 Baring’s five funds have placed investments worth more than USD 950 million in 55 companies. The firm’s investment strategy involves focusing on the consumer products, financial services, media, oil & gas, and telecom sectors.
Baring Vostok has a number of leading institutional investors from North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. These include pension funds, governmental investments, endowments and international institutions.