In the accompanying PDF document to this report (click here), bne releases its first annual ranking of Russia and Eurasia's top 100 banks.
There are actually two lists. The first is the "Top 100 banks in Russia and Eurasia" ranked by assets as of the end of the third quarter of this year, produced by bne in cooperation with Interfax, the leading newswire in the region. The second, the "Top up-and-coming Eurasian banks" is a list of non-Russian banks that lie just outside the top 100 and is also ranked by assets. While the big Russian and Kazakh banks attract most of the attention, it is amongst these second-tier banks that the fastest growth and most M&A action can be found.
There were few surprises as to which are the biggest banks in the region, with Russia's "big 4" taking the pole positions, led by the retail giant Sberbank and its sister VTB Bank, which between them account for exactly a third of all assets in the top 100 Eurasian banks.
However, Kazakhstan's BTA bank caused an upset by coming in as the largest commercial bank in Eurasia, beating out all the privately owned Russian commercial banks in the process. Kazakhstan was the first country in the region to be hurt by the global financial crisis that has swept the world since summer of 2007. But boasting the "best banking sector in the CIS," Kazakh banks are already moving out from the eye of the storm and BTA is continuing its campaign to become the leading pan-regional bank. Indeed, all the leading Kazakh banks are now ranked in the top 20 in the region as the Russian banks start to lag behind the blistering growth of the Central Asian region.
Also high on the list are a few state-owned banks in the new "frontier" markets. Belarusbank is wholly owned by the Belarusian government and ranks number 21 in the region by assets. At a presentation in London in November, the bank said it plans to sell a 25% stake in a private placement, probably in 2010, and will follow on with an IPO after that.
The International Bank of Azerbaijan was the leading bank in the Caucasus, ranked at number 36 and representing half of the oil-rich republic's total bank capitalisation. Likewise, the state-owned National Bank of Uzbekistan placed a high 42 on the list as that Central Asian republic shows the first signs of opening up to international investment.
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