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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New Bank Opens

Westdeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, Germany's third-biggest bank, opened a Russian subsidiary Friday in Moscow, bank officials said.

WestLB Vostok, Moscow, is the first German-owned bank in Russia, said Dieter Falke, of WestLB's board of directors.

WestLB Vostok is capitalized at $6 million, which is expected to increase to $20 million, Falke said.

, with their two-way trade totaling 15 billion Deutsche marks (about $10 billion) in 1994. German direct investment in Russia totaled 140 million marks in 1994. Falke said the WestLB Vostok will target international and particularly German firms operating in Russia. He said 800 German firms have a presence in Russia.

WestLB has had a representative office in Moscow since 1986 and one in St. Petersburg since 1995. It plans to open another in Nizhny Novgorod soon. A consultancy subsidiary, Deutsch-Russische Consult AG, operates in Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod.

WestLB's projects in Russia include contributing $15 million of a $35 million investment program for the AO Volga paper mill in Nizhny Novgorod, and financing projects with Norilsk Nickel.

Falke said the size of WestLB's involvement with Norilsk is about $20 million, but he declined to give details. Norilsk is Russia's largest producer of nickel and platinum-group metals.

Dresdner Bank AG has a subsidiary in Russia, which operates as a joint venture with Banque Nationale de Paris.