Russian Railways and NPF "Blagosostoyanie" abandoned the idea of selling Absolut Bank

The bank will remain on the balance sheet of RZhD and NPF "Blagosostoyanie".
Russian Railways and NPF Blagosostoyanie refused the idea of ​​selling Absolut Bank in the near future. To ensure that the financial performance of the bank does not worsen the consolidated statements of Russian Railways, the balance of Absolut Bank will be actively cleared from bad assets.

About the fact that Absolut Bank was withdrawn from sale, told Kommersant two sources close to the credit institution. According to them, an appropriate decision will be approved at the end of July at the council of the NPF "Blagosostoyanie", which will discuss issues related to the forthcoming stocking of the fund. Both interlocutors claim that the buyer could not find the buyer for the bank, since in addition to troubled assets on the balance sheet, the transaction is also complicated by the rehabilitation of Baltinvestbank (Absolut Bank could only be sold together with it). Complicated the search and recommendation of the Central Bank: the buyer should be much more reliable and larger than Absolut Bank, one of Kommersant sources says. The second interlocutor of Kommersant clarifies that the regulator thus does not want to be in a situation where not only Baltinvestbank, but Absolut Bank, and the buyer should be sanitized by the Banking Sector Consolidation Fund.

Absolut Bank ranks 37th in the Russian banking system with assets of 264 billion rubles, and in terms of capital - 40th place (27.5 billion rubles.), Follows from the banks' reports for May. Since the end of 2015, he is engaged in financial recovery of Baltinvestbank. The main shareholder of Absolut Bank is NPF Blagosostoyanie, whose founder is RZD.

"In my memory, there are no examples when a bank of this size managed to sell in conditions of chronic unprofitability and having a dowry-lending lending institution as a dowry," says Vladimir Teterin, director of bank ratings of Expert RA. "At the moment, kind of purchase will show interest in any large structure, probably premature. " According to Alexander Danilov, Senior Director of the Banking Analytical Group of Fitch Ratings, given the low quality of assets and the unprofitability of the bank, selling it without prior injections from the current owner is "not very realistic".

The sale of Absolut Bank was relevant for the structures of RZD in the light of the upcoming privatization of NPF Blagosostoyanie. It should take place before January 1, 2019. After that, Russian Railways, becoming a shareholder of the fund, will have to reflect its performance in the consolidated financial statements. And the indicators of "Welfare" will worsen Absolut Bank, which is on the balance sheet of the APF (see "Kommersant" on May 30). The loss of the bank in 2017 exceeded 4 billion rubles., Since early 2018, it reached 2.7 billion rubles.

In connection with the rejection of the sale of the Absolut Bank, now, according to one of Kommersant's sources, work is under way to sell bad corporate loans or to manage problem assets more efficiently. The bank seeks to complete this work by the end of the year, that is, prior to the privatization of the NPF Blagosostoyanie. In the Absolut Bank, questions were answered by Kommersant that the shareholder takes all strategic decisions on transactions with bank assets. APF "Blagosostoyanie" reported that the fund supported and intends to continue to support Absolut Bank in accordance with the approved strategy, but at the same time clarified that the fund considered and considers various investment opportunities on favorable conditions for the NPF.