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Troubled RusAg bank to be additionally capitalized

December 10, 2013, 18:51 UTC+3 10
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MOSCOW, December 10 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Agricultural Bank’s (RusAg) supervisory council has decided to build up the bank’s capital to 218.048 billion roubles (about $6.5 billion) by issuing additional shares for the Federal Agency for State Property Management, Rosimushchestvo, in an amount of 30 billion roubles ($900 million), says the bank’s report.

The bank will offer 30,000 common stocks at a par value of 1 million roubles. The additional issue will boost the bank’s capital by 16 percent.

The measure follows an amendment to the 2013 state budget law that suggests 30 billion roubles be allocated for the bank’s additional capitalization.

Over the past five years the state has invested 106.8 billion roubles in RusAg’s capital, yet the bank warned it was insufficient after a streak of calamities affected the agricultural businesses and many defaulted on their loans. This year the bank has announced it would need an additional amount of 40-60 billion roubles ($1.2 billion - 1.8 billion).

A source close to the bank’s supervisory council said the amount of 60 billion roubles was stipulated in the bank’s strategy. However, the officials had hoped 40 billion would be enough or not needed at all as they expected the bank would be turned into an agriculture development institution. In that case it would not have to comply with CBR standards.

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov was reported Monday to have opposed permanent state support for RusAg as a means to resolve its bad loans. He said the bank was ineffective in using the allocated funds. He also argues the bank must resolve the issue on its own.

According to the Finance Ministry, in 2009-2012 the state invested over 100 billion roubles ($3 billion) into the bank, but this hardly improved its financial stability, as RusAg took no measures to improve the quality of assets. Efficiency requirements should be a pre-condition for the bank to receive additional state infusions, Siluanov believes. In particular, he suggested evaluation of top-managers’ efficiency in improving asset quality and forming provisions.

Last November, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told journalists draft reforms would be submitted to the government in several weeks. Splitting RusAg into a development institute and a universal bank is now under consideration. He said there were two options to overhaul the bank, but did not elaborate.

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