The PPF Group, founded and owned by Czech billionaire Petr Kellner, plans to sell its 49 percent stake in Generali PPF Holding, an insurance joint venture PPF established with Generali, which owns the majority stake. Kellner is also in talks to sell his stake in the Russian insurer Ingosstrakh to VTB bank for Kč 10 billion, the server regiony24.cz reported Wednesday. Generali PPF Holding is currently valued at a little over €23 billion.
With a large share flotation looming VTB, Russia’s second-largest state-controlled bank, has perturbed investors by acquiring the distressed Bank of Moscow. VTB Group’s CEO Andrei Kostin has responded by promising the bank will make no more investments in the mid-term. A month or two ago Kostin was talking about plans for large-scale investments in Russia and Home Credit was reportedly a target.
VTB Capital, the investment arm of Russian bank VTB, is in talks with the PPF Group to buy a 10 percent stake in its Dutch-registered consumer loans company Home Credit BV, the Russian daily Vedomosti reported Tuesday citing sources close to the negotiations. Home Credit BV’s Russian subsidiary, Home Credit and Finance Bank, is the loan company’s star asset, generating about 75 percent of the company’s business.
The PPF Group, owned by Czech billionaire Petr Kellner, is planning to float 20–30 percent of shares in its Russian consumer loans company, Home Credit and Finance Bank (HCFB), Kommersant reports. The daily quotes a source as saying PPF took the decision after talks with major Russian banks VTB and Sberbank on a strategic investment into HCFB fell through. PPF says such a deal is still possible.
Joint Czech–Italian Generali PPF Holding is reportedly in negotiations with Russian state-controlled bank VTB on establishing new insurance company. Such a deal could pave the way for Petr Kellner, the richest Czech, to settle a long-running dispute with Oleg Derepaska, the majority owner of the Ingostrakh insurance company in which Kellner’s PPFI has a minority stake.
In the wake of the economic crisis, Czech exports to western markets have stagnated or shown minimal growth; bilateral trade with Russia, however, has climbed well above pre-crisis levels. Russia’s Trade Representative Alexander Turov says he’s here to identify and help potential partners.