The result of this operation can be the transformation of ordinary private business into a system element of the entire Russian financial infrastructure.
After the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) authorized the Otkrytie holding to acquire a 76% stake in Rosgosstrakh Bank, the acquisition of the whole of Rosgosstrakh by the holding company was resolved. And in the market there will be a giant private financial group with assets worth more than 4 trillion rubles, and a client base of 50 million people.
The fact that the leader of the Russian insurance market may lose its independence and become a division of a new megastructure, the general public became known in December 2016. By this time the "Discovery" received control over almost 30% of Rosgosstrakh - 4.4% owned the company directly, 8% owned the part of the "Discovery" of the NPF "Lukoil-guarantor", and another 15.4% of shares were pledged Under the repurchase agreement (REPO).
The lien scheme is a classical absorption mechanism using "soft power". In the 1990s, this option was run-in during the privatization of state assets, and then became a routine of Russian business practices. In the conditions of an acute shortage of liquidity, a business whose solvency critically depends on the possibility of refinancing it becomes an easy prey for those who have cash in their wallet. From a formal point of view, the "Discovery" provided Rosgosstrakh with a loan secured by shares. In fact, it is about financing the company's operating activities, which will allow the leader of the insurance market to avoid a real catastrophe. At the end of 2016, Rosgosstrakh's loss amounted to 33 billion rubles (an increase of 7 times compared with 2015). And this trend has not yet been reversed - according to the data for the first quarter of 2017, losses amounted to 13 billion rubles.
In a deplorable financial situation, the CSG was due to the failure of compulsory motor insurance (OSAGO), the segment that is the company's main business. OSAGO is a very complex market where trends are formed by a whole set of factors, most of which are beyond the influence of both the insurer and the insurance market as such. First of all, OSAGO became a victim of braking sales of new cars. The inhabitants of megacities began to refuse cars, because of the increase in the total cost of ownership. And, for the most part, these were the most responsible drivers - classic motorists. At the macro level, this trend led to a rise in the market share of "risky" motorists. As a result, the cost of repairing a car has increased, which means an increase in insurance payments. As a result, as early as in 2014, the insurance business of Rosgosstrakh itself turned out to be unprofitable. The company's revenues were generated from investing funds received under policies. As a result, Rosgosstrakh continued to increase its MTPL portfolio - in order to ensure the inflow of client funds.
Financial behemoth on trust
In fact, from the insurance company "Rosgosstrakh" turned into an investment, which, of course, could not pass by "attentive" participants in the financial market, specializing in mergers and acquisitions. FC Otkrytie is not just an active member of such a roar - it is its result. Once a small financial company, headed by Vadim Belyaev, was known only to a narrow circle of people. Belyaev and now formally remains the largest shareholder of the "Discovery" (he owns about 18% of the shares). But in fact this is a completely different company. As a result of the wave of mergers and acquisitions that Otkrytie drove after the 2008 crisis, a real "financial hippo" appeared on the Russian market. First, several large regional banks were collected in the holding - Petrovsky (2010), Sverdlovsk Provincial Bank (2011), Khanty-Mansiysk Bank and Novosibirsk Municipal Bank.
And then it's time for these grandees. As a result, the Nomos-Bank group (a credit institution that served the interests of Rosatom structures) was included in the "Discovery" structure;
Petrocommerce "(treasury bank" Lukoil "), as well as large corporate pension funds of NPF" Lukoil-Garant "and NPF" Electricity ". As a result of this shaft of mergers and acquisitions, the composition of the owners of the "Discovery" began to resemble the Forbes listing. Among them Vagit Alekperov and Leonid Fedun (president and member of the board of directors of Lukoil), which own 8.91%, Alexander Nesis and other representatives of the ICT group (12.08%), as well as Alexander Mamut (3.68%) .
The latter entered the holding after the transfer to him of the shares of Rambler Internet Holding, which were in the ownership of the "Discovery" as a result of the pledge scheme. As a result, the group had 35 editions with a monthly audience of over 40 million people, including several powerful ideologically charged media resources (Gazeta.ru, Lenta.ru). It's hard to imagine what forces could convince so many different centers of economic power to gather in one holding company. In any case, the creation of such a "hippopotamus" became possible, among other things, because VTB Bank (5.51%) was among the minority shareholders. But if something goes wrong, the state bank will have to take serious risks. Signs of this have already emerged.
Problems of "Discovery"
The main problem of the "Discovery" was the rehabilitation of the bank "Trust", 100% of shares of which also belongs to the holding. In 2014, the Central Bank of Russia provided "Discovery" for the rehabilitation of the "Trust" 127 billion rubles. In the form of a temporary repayable loan. But this was only a prelude to a real story, which may end in the largest scandal in the Russian banking sector. Following the billions in the "Trust" appeared temporary manager - Veronica Dolenko, who represented the DIA, but ... worked in the "Discovery".
It was she, in particular, who was engaged in the project on the merger of the bank "Otkrytie" with the Khanty-Mansiysk bank. As a result, it was the last one who was affiliated. This non-trivial history allowed the participants of the financial market to conclude that Vadim Belyaev enjoys the special confidence of the Bank of Russia's management. And the entire plot with the rapid collection of bank assets in one holding has played, as they say, new colors. After the active work of the interim administration, another hole was found in the bank's balance sheet, and the Central Bank demanded an additional 47 billion rubles for recovery. After that, the "Discovery" received formidable competitors in the struggle for the rehabilitation of the Trust, and additional billions evaporated from the agenda.
The last two years, "Opening" pulls "Trust" on its own. As a result, the news bulletin about the bank is a compilation of reports on the closure of offices, a reduction in interest rates on deposits and attempts to force to pay for the use of cards of former customers. As a result of 2016, the negative capital of the Trust has doubled.
And in this situation, the "Discovery" represents "Rosgosstrakh" 30 billion rubles - in fact, to save another losing business. It is quite logical to assume that the holding needs an insurance giant as a channel that provides financial resources for the implementation of its own investment strategy. It is for this model that financial "hippo holdings" are developed all over the world. But in this case, the reverse situation can arise: adding an unprofitable business to a complex one, with a huge number of risks, often leads to unpredictable results in a very sensitive financial market. A classic example of this turn was the development of events in Kazakhstan - where all attempts to unite troubled credit institutions ended in failure, and demanded new financial injections from the state. Moreover, as Russian business practice shows, any appearance of additional financial resources in a troubled business often leads not to recovery but to a banal withdrawal of liquid assets.