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Comment by Riccardo Orcel, Deputy CEO of VTB Group and Head of Global Banking at VTB Capital for Economic Daily

28 June 2016
Economic Daily
Russian bank hopes to deepen cooperation with China

The Sino-Russian strategic mutual efforts to find opportunities for potential cooperation will allow both countries to jointly cope with the current challenges facing international economy.

During the recently held St. Petersburg Economic Forum, Economic Daily interviewed Riccardo Orcel, Deputy CEO of VTB Group and Head of Global Banking at VTB Capital, who said that Russia is allocating more attention and resources to developing cooperation with Asia, and the financial sector has been no exception to this growing trend.

Mr. Orcel believes that China's financial industry has been very important for the Russian market. Namely, VTB entered the Asian market in 2008 opening its first branch in Shanghai, in 2009 VTB Capital established new office in Singapore. The opening of Hong Kong office in 2011 helped to dramatically accelerate the company’s pace of development in Asia. Mr. Orcel said that there is promising potential for trade growth between China and Russia, which opens up interesting opportunities for the Russian financial institutions in the region.

VTB Capital is rapidly developing in China. For example, in the last two years, they participated in 11 bond issues, 4 M&A deals and provided financing for Chinese companies in Russia. Currently, many Chinese companies hope to deepen economic and trade relations between the two countries, contributing to the demand for an expertise from such a foreign investment bank present in the country. A few months ago, VTB and Alibaba Group signed a strategic partnership agreement, with VTB providing necessary financing to the Chinese company.

Mr. Orcel said that Russia’s VTB will continue to help customers obtain financing in Asia, while providing beneficial investment opportunities for Chinese investors in Russia. Russia hopes to expand cooperation with Asian state-owned enterprises and private companies, the next phase will focus on investments into Russia’s emerging industries, such as natural resources, transportation and infrastructure, real estate and agricultural sectors. Moreover, the signing of the currency swap agreement, the construction of the Russian offshore renminbi trading center will greatly reduce the cost of capital flows between the two countries, which is important for both financial and trade industries.

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