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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Alfa Restructures Loan Portfolio

Alfa Bank has restructured a chunk of its loan portfolios, providing itself and its debtors some temporary relief from soaring bad loans.

Alfa Bank, the country's largest privately owned bank, has restructured about 5 percent of its total loan portfolio and expects overall lending to decrease this year. "Approximately 5 percent of our portfolio is restructured as of today," Andrew Baxter, Alfa's chief financial officer, said during a conference call on Tuesday.

State-controlled VTB, the country's second-biggest lender, has already restructured 15 percent of its loan portfolio and sees "problem debt" at about the 7 percent mark, the bank's head, Andrei Kostin, said in comments published Tuesday in Kommersant.

Alfa Bank expects no profit this year as provisions for bad loans climb.

"The focus of the bank has shifted to collection of problem accounts," Baxter said.

VTB has said its bad loans will not exceed 8 percent this year, while Alfa said last week that overdue loans already accounted for nearly 10 percent of its total as of April 1.

VTB, in contrast to Alfa Bank, has increased its loan portfolio by 50 percent for the last six months by acting as a clearinghouse for the state to channel credit resources to Russia corporates.