VTB Capital Plans to Boost Commodity Hires as Metals Rally
22 January 2018
VTB Capital, the investment-banking unit of Russia’s second-largest lender, plans to expand its commodities team by about 20 percent this year amid a rally in metals prices.
It is intending to hire 10 people in the precious metals and client management teams, Atanas Djumaliev, the company’s head of global commodities, said in an interview in Moscow. The new recruits will primarily be at the investment bank’s Russian and Swiss offices. They will also support a growing commodity business in Asia, he said.
Precious metals posted a second annual gain last year as global geopolitical and inflationary risks pushed investors to safe-haven assets. Palladium, the biggest gainer among major commodities in 2017, and gold are likely to be “beacons of hope” for the precious-metals market this year, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analysts.
Settling in Shanghai
VTB Capital is also planning to start operations in the Chinese mainland and this year will work on developing the necessary infrastructure in Shanghai. The firm may be “selective” in increasing headcount at its Hong Kong office following last year’s hiring spree, Djumaliev said.
“We see our Asian business as the main source of growth in the future,” he said. The company wants to increase the share of its business in the continent to 25 percent of total commodities revenue “in the medium term,” Djumaliev said, declining to give the current share.
China is continuing to gobble up the world’s commodities. The Asian giant surpassed the U.S. to become the world’s biggest crude oil importer last year amid demand from a growing number of independent refineries and expansion of existing processing plants. Consumption for everything from iron ore to natural gas is forecast to increase.