OREANDA-NEWS. October 20, 2008. URSA Bank is pleased to announce the release of the IFRS financial statements for the period ended 30 June 2008, which have been reviewed by KPMG and are available here.
Despite challenging market conditions, URSA Bank continued to strengthen its financial and market positions during this period, maintaining its focus on liquidity, deposit collection, and conservative lending, resulting in asset growth of 32.8% year-on-year [15.1%YTD], while total deposits grew by 47.3% year-on-year [16.5% YTD]. The Bank also has closed two syndicated loans in the total amount of USD275m and placed one RUB6.2bn domestic bond since the beginning of 2008, confirming the Bank’s reputation as a reliable borrower and issuer. As another testament to Bank’s success in keeping its financial positions sound in difficult conditions, Fitch Rating Agency upgraded the Bank’s rating from B/Positive to B+/Stable in July 2008.

In response to the tight liquidity environment, the Bank has maintained a higher share of liquid assets of 18% – 22% on its balance sheet, consisting of deposits with the Central Bank of Russia and highest-quality commercial banks, both domestic and foreign, along with a substantial liquid securities portfolio that consists primarily of financial instruments eligible for financing with the Central Bank (i.e. Lombard list). The amount of liquid assets fully covers all retail deposits, while allowing the Bank to comfortable service all of its repayments until the end of 2009. On the lending side, the Bank has further tightened its borrower criteria, with a view to higher quality collateral and shorter tenors.

Retail deposits grew by 33% year-on-year [12.7% YTD], attesting to the Bank’s excellent reputation as a reliable and customer-friendly institution, as well as thanks to its extensive branch network that spans seven time zones. The Bank has also gained a firm foothold on the corporate deposit market as well, winning in many deposit auctions by both large corporations and government organizations, leading to the increase of corporate deposits by 83.1% year-on-year [24% YTD].

The Bank also keeps a close eye on the asset quality and improving efficiency of its collection procedures. As part of this effort, the Bank outsourced the collection of “hard” (90 day and more overdue) loans, and sold 180 day and more overdue loans, to collection agencies in the first half of 2008. These measures allowed the Bank to clean up its balance sheet from accumulated bad loans, and improved the overall efficiency of its operations.

URSA Bank will be hosting a conference call to discuss the results of the first six months, as well as the current position of the Bank in today’s environment. We will advise the details of the conference call additionally.