Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Qatar Holding hires UBS for VTB deal

QATAR’s sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Holding, has hired UBS to advise on a possible $3 billion investment in Russian state-owned bank VTB, three people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

VTB is working on a capital increase with Citigroup to bolster its capital base.

“Talks are very advanced”, one of the people said in regard to Qatar’s discussions with VTB.

But there are potential obstacles to a deal, such as disagreement over the price at which the Qatar fund would pay for the VTB shares. Another issue is that President Vladimir Putin last month urged all further state asset sales to be held in Russia. This prompted VTB chief executive Andrei Kostin to acknowledge its planned capital raising might be delayed.

Qatar Holding is seeking a cheap deal with VTB, while the Russian government will want a decent price for its holding in the bank, the people said.

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