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Reports: VTB to meet 2019 profit target, pay out 50% of earnings in dividends

Russia's second-largest lender, VTB Bank PJSC, plans to earmark 50% of its 2019 net profit for dividend payouts to shareholders, the lender's CEO Andrey Kostin told Bloomberg TV.

VTB, in which the Russian state has a controlling stake, paid out 26.8 billion rubles in dividends for 2018, equivalent to 15% of its net profit under International Financial Reporting Standards. In April 2019, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said he expected the lender to increase dividend payments to 50% of net profit from 2019 results.

Kostin also told Bloomberg TV that the bank has no plans to issue new shares at the moment as it would be too difficult due to U.S. sanctions against Russia. Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev previously said the government was considering the additional issuance of VTB shares as part of the lender's privatization.

Meanwhile, VTB expects to meet its 2019 net profit target of 200 billion rubles under International Financial Reporting Standards, news agency Prime reported, also citing Kostin. The lender's IFRS net profit for the 11 months of 2019 stood at 165.4 billion rubles, an increase by 1.7% year over year, the newswire noted.

As of Jan. 21, US$1 was equivalent to 61.81 Russian rubles.