VTB bolsters Asian ambitions with Hong Kong office
Russian investment bank VTB Capital has opened its first office in Hong Kong, just over three months after getting a licence from local regulators to offer investment banking services in the special administrative region.
VTB has had a presence in Asia since it was established in 2008, when it opened its Singapore office. But it has long wanted a Hong Kong base as a key part of its strategy in the region, which is built around bringing Russian capital to Chinese companies and vice versa.
The firm gained approval from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission in June, receiving permission ‘type one’ and ‘type four’ licences, which allow it to deal in securities and advise on them, respectively.
It plans to win primary ECM business in Hong Kong and has already made moves in that direction.
VTB has already taken part in some Hong Kong securities business, advising Russian aluminium miner UC Rusal on its HK$16.7bn IPO last year, after receiving a temporary licence.
The bank has already moved to improve its name recognition with Asian investors, selling several Singapore dollar-denominated bonds and issuing its first offshore renminbi deal in December 2010, raising Rmb1bn ($157.m).
VTB Capital, a subsidiary of VTB Group, is quite a new entrant to global investment banking, having started only three years ago. The bank already has offices in Moscow, London, Singapore and Dubai.