VTB Capital eyes commodity expansion on expected market recovery
16 September 2016
Russian investment bank VTB Capital is looking to grow its revenue and headcount by around 50 percent amid expectations for a recovery in market conditions, the company said on Friday.
VTB started physical trading in base and precious metals, oil and coal last year. Its commodity trading balance sheet is currently in excess of $1 billion.
The bank may look to become a member of the London Metal Exchange (LME) while its business develops, Atanas Djumaliev, head of global commodities, told FastMarkets.
"We are looking to expand the commodities business in Asia in 2017 by adding staff in Singapore or Hong Kong and will also be hiring in Zug," Djumaliev added.
VTB employs 35 people, more than half of whom are based in Moscow and a third in its Zug office where its international physical trading desk is based. There are also several employees in London.
News of the expansion will provide a boost to the industry - difficult market conditions and weak prices have resulted in several large banks either downsizing or exiting the commodity sector, leading to lower liquidity and fewer participants across markets.
But VTB hopes that by entering in the current downtrend it will be well placed when market conditions improve.
"The current metals market is greatly influenced by the global supply/demand situation. Previously, Asian growth had been a major driver of prices. In the near term we see softer prices but [over the] longer term we are looking for higher levels as global demand increases," Djumaliev said.