MOSCOW, August 4 (RIA Novosti) - VTB Group, Russia's largest banking group, announced on Tuesday a net loss under International Financial Reporting Standards of 20.5 billion rubles ($661 million) in January-March 2009.
VTB Group's Q1 net loss was far worse than the average figure of 12.7 billion ($409.7 million) expected by analysts, and compares with a net profit of $121 million a year earlier.
VTB Group attributed its Q1 net loss largely due to "increased provisions and a one-off charge due to reclassification of interest rate swaps."
VTB set aside 49.2 billion rubles ($1.59 billion) for provisions in the first quarter, totaling an annualized 7.1% of average gross loan portfolio, up from 4.8% in the fourth quarter of 2008, VTB Group said.
"Although the group was severely impacted by the adverse economic environment, VTB has benefited substantially from its position as a systemically important bank. This has given it privileged access to both funding and clients, at a time when availability of capital and liquidity has been at a premium," the statement said.
The group's total assets increased 3.1% to 3,812 billion rubles ($123 billion), while VTB's total gross loan portfolio went up 7.5% to 2,848 billion rubles ($91.9 billion), the statement said.