VTB Bank PJSC, which posted first-half net profit of 98.5 billion Russian rubles under International Financial Reporting Standards, raised its earnings forecast for the 2018 full year, Vedomosti reported.
The lender's management board first deputy chairman, Dmitry Olyunin, said the lender expects to earn 170 billion rubles under IFRS for the year, compared with the earlier estimated net profit of at least 150 billion rubles, the news report noted.
Olyunin's comments come against the background of news reports indicating that a sanctions bill proposed by a group of U.S. senators earlier in August could also target several Russian state banks including VTB, with potential implications including a ban on their operations in the U.S. and an asset freeze, the news report noted.
In addition, the U.S. also announced Aug. 8 that it plans to impose fresh sanctions against Russia later this month over the poisoning of Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia, further deepening the selloff of VTB shares and other Russian assets, initiated by the earlier sanctions reports. VTB Senior Vice President Dmitry Pyanov said that the bank was analyzing possible consequences of the potential sanctions, Vedomosti said.
Meanwhile, VTB said it has sold its Serbian unit VTB Banka a.d. Beograd for around 900 million rubles, earning around 300 million rubles on the transaction, news agency Prime reported the same day, citing the lender's IFRS report.
Vedomosti also cited VTB Senior Vice President Dmitry Pyanov as saying that the lender was involved in negotiations on the potential purchase of Vozrozhdenie Bank and several other lenders, but he did not name the other potential acquisition targets.
As of Aug. 9, US$1 was equivalent to 66.27 Russian rubles.