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New Silk Road Finance Awards

CEE & Central West Asia: Best Bank for BRI-related Financing in the Region 2020

VTB Bank

VTB, which is led by president and chairman Andrey Kostin, is the only Russian bank with a full financial licence to conduct banking operations in mainland China. It is also planning to open a new office in Shanghai’s financial district this June as business expands.

Total employee headcount at VTB in Shanghai has doubled over the last two years.

These efforts to expand its network in China will help make VTB a leading bank along the Silk Road, where it takes a hands-on approach.

Look, for instance, at the construction of the Amur Gas Processing Plant, one of the biggest such plants in the world; it is an important part of the Eastern Gas Programme, a new 3,000-kilometre pipeline scheme to export gas from Russia to Asia Pacific.

The deal – worth a whopping €11.4 billion and involving 22 banks from Europe, Asia and Russia – is one of the biggest in Europe in recent years. VTB participated in a multicurrency syndicate of leading Russian banks and arranged credit lines of €1.1 billion and R170 billion ($2.3 billion).

It also leveraged its close links with the world’s main export-credit agencies for the transaction, helping bring the likes of Germany’s Euler Hermes, Italy’s Servizi Assicurativi del Commercio Estero and the Russian Agency for Export Credit and Investment Insurance as financiers for the project.

VTB was also part of a syndicate for a $2 billion project funding for the construction of a mineral fertilizer plant in the city of Nakhodka in Russia’s far east. The plant is important for the region as it will help develop an environmentally friendly way to produce methanol and ammonia. The contractor for the project is China’s Chengda Engineering Co.

That’s not all. VTB Bank and Avtodor Group, Russia’s state highway company, have teamed up to develop a new road that is part of the Europe-West China transport corridor, a mega-infrastructure project covering rail, road and air transport between the two regions.

VTB, of course, offers its clients conventional products such as letters of credit to purchase equipment, spare parts and the likes from China. It also often leans on the China Export & Credit Insurance Corp (Sinosure) to cover transactions that help boost China-Russia trade. Business from such deals jumped 15% in the 12-month period.

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