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30 Russia’s major banks need further recapitalization

February 20, 2012, 17:30 UTC+3
Russia’s 30 largest banks are in need of further recapitalization, but have no possibility to improve the situation in the foreseeable future
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MOSCOW, February 20 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s 30 largest banks are in need of further recapitalization, but have no possibility to improve the situation in the foreseeable future, according to Standard & Poor's report.

The majority of Russian commercial banks are undercapitalized because of their large appetite for risk, and weak business diversification, according to the S & P's report. Current levels of Russian banks’ capitalization will continue to provide for Russian banks only moderate protection from the risks taken on the bank’s balance sheet.

“According to our estimates, majority of the Russian banks in 2012 will not be able to independently generate capital sufficient to ensure the growth of their assets, even if the planned growth rates are reduced in connection with the increased market competition and the recent turmoil on the financial markets,” credit analyst at Standard & Poor’s Sergei Voronenko said. “Their ability to generate capital is still limited by the recent narrowing of interest margins and the uncertainty of the period of the business recovery to more sustainable levels.”

The main obstacles to achieving adequate bank capitalization are their weak diversification (geographical, in terms of business sectors, income sources) and a high concentration of the corporate loan portfolio on individual borrowers, according to the agency’s report.

At the same time, most Russian banks have good quality of capital, compared to similar banks in developed countries - mainly thanks to the lack of hybrid capital instruments. According to S & P estimates, Russian banks will maintain an acceptable quality of capital in the next 2-3 years.

The inability to generate capital from own resources is particularly acute in the segment of small Russian banks, return of equity (ROE) of which is less than 10 percent because of the high cost of funding and very limited access to borrowing on capital markets. “If Russian banks do not receive regular infusions of capital from their shareholders, their risk-adjusted capital (RAC) ratios will be declining year after year,” believe S & P experts.

 

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