ArmInfo. VTB24 Head Mikhail Zadornov praises the intention of the new Government of Armenia to enliven the investment climate in the country. At today's press conference in Yerevan, Zadornov stressed that judging by the statistical data and other criteria, Armenia's economy has overcome the lower threshold of revenue contraction, consumption shrinkage and unwillingness to invest. "VTB Bank (Armenia) observes this by the monthly growth of retail lending starting from April. This is an absolutely clear and vivid sign of recovery in economy - people stop reducing consumption and they are prepared to take new loans," the Russian banker said.
He noted that such recovery has also been observed in Russia since February. "We realize that we are in a common economic space and if the consumption intensifies in Russia, this will have a positive effect on the export and demand, including in Armenia," he said.
Zadornov said that today he is going to meet with the new Prime Minister of Armenia, Karen Karapetyan. Praising the first steps of the new Prime Minister, the head of VTB24 stressed: "We realized that the economic policy of Armenia needed changes. The formation of the new Government demonstrates that the changes will happen. This was also demonstrated by the instruction the President has given to the new Prime Minister. We see that the new Government comprises people engaged in business activities. We expect the people from the business fields to bring more flexible approaches to the Government's activities. We expect these approaches to meet the interests of investors and those who are going to launch business here. We often criticize our government for the unfavorable investment climate. We see that the new Armenian Prime Minister's task to create a good investment climate is being settled through formation of a new government." Zadornov stressed that VTB Group knows some of the newly appointed ministers well enough, because they previously cooperated with VTB Bank (Armenia) and the Bank takes quite a positive view of their appointment. Moreover, Zadornov thinks the fact the new Premier has already managed to meet with the bankers and to discuss the situation with them demonstrates his intention to establish an important feedback communication with the banking sector.
He also noted that now VTB Group is completing the formation of a strategy for the next three years. The strategy also covers VTB Bank (Armenia). "It is very important for us to know what priorities the new Government will have, what the VTB Bank (Armenia)-Armenian Government cooperation will be based on, and what fields will be developed within the next three years," Zadornov said. He emphasized his content with the development of the Bank's retail business in Armenia, and stressed the need to give a fresh impetus to it, "because it is our strong point on the market and we will set ourselves a goal to have a significant share on the market both in lending and attracting the population's funds".
In the meantime, Zadornov pointed at the imperfection of the judiciary system as the key obstacle hindering the development of the banking system in the country. He stressed that the judiciary system should be more independent and should reduce the time for considering cases and making decisions.
According to the Financial Rating of Armenian Banks by the Agency of Rating Marketing Information (ArmInfo), VTB Bank (Armenia) is traditionally among the leaders of the Armenian banking system in terms of key parameters. As of 1 July 2016, the Bank's total capital amounted to 41.2 bln AMD (5th position), assets - 278.3 bln AMD (4th position), lending - 186.4 bln AMD (5th position), personal time deposits - 92 bln AMD (4th position), corporate call liabilities - 39.7 bln AMD (3rd position). The Bank holds the 5th position in terms of corporate lending - 107.4 bln AMD, and the 3rd position in terms of retail lending - 78.8 bln AMD. The Bank has the largest branch network (67 branches) in Armenia. VTB Bank (Armenia) joined VTB Group in April 2004.