MTS-Bank not only by name

AFK Sistema will sell all its shares to a cellular operator.
AFK Sistema plans to sell the remaining 43% stake in MTS-Bank to its subsidiary, MTS. The deal is profitable, both for the bank and for the seller, experts say. The bank from the organizational point of view is better to be under the control of MTS, which is more interested in its development than AFK Sistema, which viewed it more as an investment. It, in turn, can receive about 12 billion rubles, which are necessary for settlements with creditors after the settlement of the conflict with Rosneft.

MTS, which recently received control from MTS Bank, can acquire from its parent structure AFK Sistema the remaining stake in the bank in the amount of 43.24%, told Kommersant that two sources close to the parties to the transaction. One of them stressed that the deal "is already, in fact, launched." However, AFK Sistema and MTS 'press services told Kommersant that the decision has not been made yet, different options are being considered, without revealing the details.

MTS-Bank ranks 46th in terms of assets (182.3 billion rubles.), Calculated by the Central Bank's methodology. In the first half of 2018, MTS-Bank received a net profit of 2.4 billion rubles, according to Russian accounting. Until July, 71.87% of the bank's shares belonged to AFK Sistema, another 26.37% - MTS, which, in turn, is a subsidiary of AFK Sistema.

In early July, MTS increased its stake in MTS-Bank's capital to 55.24%. The credit organization was acquired from AFK Sistema through the structure of Mobile TeleSystems B.V. K. for 8.27 billion rubles. The deal was made with a multiplier of 1.4 to the capital, which is significantly higher than the market level (now the prices for banks rarely reach 1 capital). Then MTS stated that the deal promotes the diversification of the company's business, the achievement of synergy and developments in the field of fi ntekh.

Experts agree that technically the bank should be better controlled by MTS. "The sale involves a strategic rethinking of Sistema's attitude to the banking business and, accordingly, MTS's important role in running this business, which improved results when MTS became a shareholder of the bank," says Nikolay Lukashevich, head of Russia / CIS Fitch Ratings. "The bank gets an owner with a high level of financial standing, which is interested in the development of the credit organization and the implementation of joint projects, in particular plastic cards," says junior director for corporate ratings "Expert RA" Igor Chernov. - AFK Sistema is primarily an investment holding aimed at monetizing its projects and further selling investment objects. "

However, MTS already controls the bank, so further sale of the bank's shares should, most likely, be viewed through the prism of financial circumstances of Sistema, experts note. Sistema did not manage to challenge Rosneft's claims for 100 billion rubles. due to the reorganization of Bashneft (see "Kommersant" on December 27, 2017). The company paid this amount ahead of schedule, increasing its debt obligations through a loan from Sberbank of 105 billion rubles. Part of the debt of AFK Sistema refinanced. Mr. Chernov draws attention to the fact that Sistema had 71 billion rubles at the end of the first half of the year. short-term debt, which must be paid within 12 months. Sistema seeks to reduce the debt burden - previously payments of obligations were financed by dividends received from subsidiaries and the sale of 28.63% stake in MTS Bank, notes S & P. Probably, AFK Sistema will continue to reduce the debt burden, including through the sale of assets, S & P Global Ratings analyst Svetlana Aschepkova said. Unlike other assets, the sale of the remaining stake in MTS-Bank is provided in the basic S & P scenario. The cost of the remaining 43.24% stake in the bank, according to S & P, is about 12 billion rubles.