The main beneficiary of the microfinance institution (MFIs) Home Money, Yevgeny Bernshtam, is looking for an investor among banks and is even willing to give up control of the company, sources told Kommersant. Home Money needs money for current operations and for capital funding in order to fulfill the Central Bank's tightening requirements for reserves. Mr. Bernshtam refutes this information.
Several sources, including those close to the company, told Kommersant about the fact that Yevgeny Bernshtam is negotiating the sale of Home Money. According to the interlocutors of Kommersant, he initially planned to attract investors, while retaining control, and considered the possibility of the IPO, but did not succeed. As a result, Mr. Bernshtam sell his business, said the source close to Home Money. Yevgeny Bernshtam himself in a conversation with Kommersant refuted this information. In 2007, Mr. Bernshtam also denied the validity of Kommersant's information on his appointment in HCF-Bank, which was later confirmed in a press release of the bank (see Kommersant dated February 15, 2007). According to the Kommersant's sources, at the end of last year Yevgeny Bernshtam negotiated with Binbank and Russian Standard Bank, but unsuccesfully. A source close to Home Money said that currently there were negotiations with two more banks, refusing to name them.
MFI Home Money ranks second in Expert RA ranking with regard to the size of the loan portfolio (6.8 billion rubles as of July 1, 2016). As reported on the website of the company, it was founded in 2007, represented in 62 regions, and has more than 370,000 clients. Net income for the first nine months of 2016, according to Russian reports, was 557.5 million rubles.
Home Money needs funds to run the Central Bank's tightening reserve requirements. If last year the Central Bank required to create a 30 percent reserve on problem loans, now the MFIs are obliged to have a reserve of 60%, and next year - 100%. Home Money has a positive capital of 2.7 billion rubles as of September 30, 2016, according to the Russian accounting standards. However, according to Kommersant sources close to the company, in the long term creation of reserves in accordance with the requirements of the Central Bank can "drain out" the capital of the company. "If it was necessary to create a one hundred percent reserve on problem loans now, capital of Home Money would be negative," said a Kommersant's source. The volume of overdue loans will not be disclosed in the Russian reports, the latest international reporting is available for 2015.
In addition to this, Home Money has difficulties with funding. Most of the company's creditors among the banks lost their licenses in recent years: Interkommerts, Mast-Bank, Starbank. According to the international accounting company, its largest creditor is Russian Standard Bank, the company's debt to the bank on January 1, 2016 was $51.5 million, which is at the rate specified in the report corresponds to 3.75 billion rubles. As reported by the press service of Russian Standard, at the moment, "the amount of financing provided by the bank is less". They noted that Russian Standard "has no plans to implement long-term strategic joint projects with Home Money, primarily due to the low-risk strategy of the bank." To attract funding from other banks isn't easy, either. According to the managing director of NRA, Pavel Samiev, less than ten banks now give loans to he MFIs.
It is even more difficult to find among an investor among the banks, which would be ready to join the capital of the company. Home Money is a large-scale high-tech company in its market, with an extensive customer base and an extensive network of offices, but many banks now generally shun microfinance business, says Mr. Samiev. At the end of December last year, Expert RA lowered the credit rating of Home Money to B +, assessing the likelihood of execution of its financial obligations as "low", and the probability of financial distress in the event of obligations, requiring significant payments as "very high". The rating was withdrawn soon afterwards at the insistence of the company.