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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Inkombank to Sell Shares Overseas

Inkombank is planning to sell up to 20 percent of its shares this year to foreign investors as part of a float to raise as much as $150 million in fresh capital, bank President Vladimir Vinogradov said Wednesday.

"At the moment we are holding negotiations with two Western banks," Vinogradov told a news conference. He declined to name the potential clients.

The sale would be the first time a Russian bank had offered part of its stake abroad, said Andrei Arofikin, vice president of CS First Boston Moscow.

"There are foreign investors who have been looking to acquire a stake in a Russian bank for a long time," he said. "It's good news because Inkombank is the first Russian bank offering its shares to foreign investors."

Vinogradov said the bank hoped to raise up to $80 million from the foreign banks. Domestic investors would also be offered part of the new issue, which could total $150 million in value, he said.

Spokesman Sergei Zatsepilov said Inkombank "received dozens of letters from Western banks interested in working with us."

Vinogradov was speaking at a news conference outlining 1995 results for Inkombank, Russia's fifth-largest bank.

Net profits rose 50 percent in 1995 to reach $170 million, while assets increased 1.5 times to 13.6 trillion rubles ($3 billion), Vinogradov said.

The gains came in the face of the August liquidity crisis in the banking sector, which cost Inkombank 112 billion rubles, he said.

Inkombank was one of the few Russian banks to be set up from scratch during reforms in 1988. With the exception of the former state banks, it is one of Russia's largest private banks, with more than 200,000 private clients, 40,000 corporate clients and 6,000 employees in 30 of Russia's regions.

Vinogradov said more than 70 percent of the bank's profits were earned in Russia's regions, up from 43 percent in 1994.