Alfa Bank Seeks $3Bln for New Assets

Alfa Bank, the country's largest private lender, will beef up its portfolio through borrowing some $3 billion abroad this year for acquisitions before considering an initial public offering, president Pyotr Aven said Monday.

"We have an idea that we will go for an IPO," Aven said at a briefing.

The bank is eyeing acquisitions in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan but is not planning any stakes until 2010.

"We have a shareholders' meeting next week, and we shall discuss the IPO plans very seriously. But I would expect we will not do it this year or next year," Aven said.

In May, Belarus' Central Bank agreed to sell its 39 percent stake in state-run Mezhtorgbank to Alfa Group, the parent company of Alfa Bank.

"We have just acquired a bank in Belarus. ... We plan to seriously expand in Kazakhstan, and we are discussing some other options with some other former Soviet republics, Azerbaijan, for example," Aven said.