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Report: Vnesheconombank ponders loan portfolio sale to Sberbank

couldpurchase a 30 billion Russian ruble portfolio comprising good-quality loanswhich Vnesheconombankplans to sell to boost liquidity, Vedomostireported April 3, citing market sources.

SberbankCFO Alexander Morozov said the lender could consider buying assets from thedevelopment banks if they meet credit-risk and other criteria, but it has notyet received a proposal from VEB.

Forits part, VEB, facing liquidity and capital challenges, has been hit withdeposit outflow problems at units GLOBEX Commercial Bank JSC, and PSC Prominvestbank. VEB also needs to refinanceOJSC VEB-Leasing'sdebt, while meeting internal and external debt obligations, estimated to be asmuch as 300 billion rubles, Vedomostisaid.

TheRussian government recently agreed to bolster VEB's capital by 150 billion rubles,while the Treasury plans to deposit an additional 55 billion rubles into thebank. The lender could also obtain at least 100 billion rubles from the PensionFund of the Russian Federation. Meanwhile, VEB could sell its 2.7% stake inGazprom, which is valued at $1.36 billion.

Theconversion of VEB's 220 billion ruble debt with the Russian central bank into a10-year subordinated loan is on the table, as is the of the bank's distressed assets,including Prominvestbank, GLOBEX and Sviaz-Bank, the news report noted.

As of April 1, US$1 wasequivalent to 68.02 Russian rubles.