(Adds details, quotes, background)
MOSCOW, March 28 Andrei Kostin, the chief
executive of Russia's VTB bank said on Tuesday there was space
for Russia to issue a sovereign Eurobond this spring but that
the finance ministry had not employed a bank to arrange such a
Kostin was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a
meeting of the Association of Russian Banks.
VTB Capital, the investment banking arm of VTB, was the sole
arranger of both Eurobonds Russia sold last year, in May and
September, raising $3 billion.
The finance ministry has said it is in no hurry to issue
Separately, Kostin said that VTB was in talks with a number
of investors, including Ukrainian ones, over a potential sale of
VTB's Ukrainian banking business, adding that any sale in
Ukraine now will be at a discount.
Kiev has imposed fresh sanctions this month on the Ukrainian
subsidiaries of Russian state-owned banks over Moscow's role in
the Ukrainian crisis.
"We have two options: to sell the bank or to gradually cut
its balance ... we will find the decision by the end of the
year," Kostin said. He did not indicate how much VTB might want
for the bank.
Sberbank, Russia's largest bank by assets, said on
Monday it had agreed to sell its Ukrainian subsidiary to a
consortium of investors, which include Norvik Bank (Latvia) and
a Belarussian private company, but did not disclose the price.
Kostin also said VTB was not planning to take a stake in
Russia's mid-sized oil producer NNK, owned by ex-Rosneft Chief
Executive Eduard Khudainatov, in exchange for debt NNK owes to
VTB. Kostin did not say how much NNK owes to the bank.
"We do not plan this at the moment and this is highly
unlikely (to happen) ... In general I doubt we will take a stake
there, but never say never," Kostin said.
Vedomosti daily newspaper reported last month that
Khudainatov was preparing to sell NNK, which may cost $4
billion, according to an analyst quoted by the newspaper.
(Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Writing by Kevin O'Flynn;
Editing by Polina Devitt and Catherine Evans)