Gazprombank to sell 49 percent of its shares

Gazprombank is developing a strategy for selling 49 percent of its shares owned by the Gazprom gas holding, president of the bank Yury Lvov reported to journalists today. After the strategy is developed, Gazprom, the bank's major shareholder, will discuss it. According to Lvov, this will take place before the end of 2002. However, he pointed out that there was no single approach to this issue, as the bank's managers could have one point of view on this matter, and the bank's shareholders - a different one. Lvov reported that it was necessary to evaluate the bank before selling its shares. For this, the Deloitte&Touche audit company will be attracted.

At the same time, the bank's head stressed that "the public, including private individuals" should become shareholders of the credit institution. Additionally, he pointed out that selling the stake to a foreign investor was not the most efficient solution.

Lvov reported that Gazprombank would remain the major settlement bank of the gas giant. Additionally, he pointed out that the bank was not planning to reduce the volume of crediting Gazprom; however, it was planning to reduce the share of the holding in the total volume of its credit portfolio.

The bank's head also reported that next year, Gazprom would enter the market of foreign loans in order to attract "money for seven to ten years". According to Lvov, this will be the American stock market. "They are really interested in large loans for a long term", he stated without specifying the precise term and the amount of the suggested loan.

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