Vnesheconombank reports 56.5% net profit increase in 2005

MOSCOW, April 12 (RIA Novosti) - Leading state-run banking institution Vnesheconombank announced Wednesday it had posted a net profit increase of 56.5% in 2005 year on year to 5.54 billion rubles (about $193 million).

Chairman Vladimir Dmitriyev said the bank continued to demonstrate sustainable financial growth in 2005. Pre-tax profits grew 46% on year to 6.33 billion rubles (about $221 million)

"While among the country's top ten banks in terms of assets, we are also leading in terms of most quality indicators," Dmitriyev said.

He said the rate of return on Vnesheconombank assets rose to 3.5% in 2005 from 2.8% in 2004 against a banking sector average of 2.7%, and the rate of return on equity grew to 40.8% from 38.7% from a year earlier against a sectoral average of 21.1%.

Dmitriyev said Vnesheconombank continued to perform the functions of a government managing company for pension fund investment last year.

In 2005, the Pension Fund transferred 67.84 billion rubles (about $2.3 billion) of pension accumulations to the bank. As of December 31, 2005, the market value of the bank's investment portfolio reached 176.5 billion rubles (about $6.17 billion). Dmitriyev said the bank's pension fund investment yielded 12.07% per annum in 2005, above the inflation level for the year.

Dmitriyev also said Vnesheconombank intended to halve its borrowings in 2006 to $1 billion.

"The program of borrowings has been approved by the board of directors. In total, we can talk about borrowing around $1 billion," Dmitriyev said. In 2005, the bank borrowed $2 billion, he said.

Dmitriyev said the borrowing program included various instruments to raise money, including inter-bank loans, syndicated loans and other transactions on the inter-bank and financial markets.

He said Vnesheconombank had obtained a $500 million syndicated loan in 2005 at LIBOR plus 0.9% per annum.

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