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Fitch Rates Conversbank ‘CCC+’

December 7, 2005
Fitch Ratings has today assigned Conversbank CJSC (“Conversbank”) ratings of Long-term ‘CCC+’, Short-term ‘C’, Support ‘5’, Individual ‘D/E’, and National Long-term ‘B+(rus)’. The Outlooks on the Long-term and National Long-term ratings are Stable.

The Long-term, Short-term and Individual ratings reflect Conversbank’s limited franchise, potentially unsustainable business volumes, high concentration on both sides of the balance sheet, and certain regulatory risk inherent in some operations. At the same time, they also consider its adequate capital position, acceptable liquidity and fairly good market-risk management.

Upside potential for the ratings would result from an improvement of corporate governance practices and the development of a more sustainable business franchise, diversification of business, and improvement of performance. Downside pressure may arise from a significant deterioration in asset quality or capital adequacy.

Conversbank was established in 1989 and acted as a captive bank for the Russian nuclear industry until it was privatised at end-2002. The bank is now part of a wider banking group, of which it is also the holding company. Conversbank is headquartered in Moscow and currently ranks within the top 100 Russian banks, with total unconsolidated assets of USD367 million, net loans of USD191m and shareholders equity of USD69m at end-2004. It does not have any branches.

The banking group consists of five banks in Russia and Eastern Europe: Conversbank; Conversbank Moscow (formerly Akademchembank), ENISEY Bank, Bankas Snoras, (rated ‘BB-’ (BB minus)) in Lithuania, and Latvijas Krajbanka (rated ‘B+’) in Latvia. The group is ultimately owned by a Russian individual. At end-2004, total consolidated assets of the group (which at that date included only Conversbank and Bankas Snoras) were USD1.119m, net assets were USD533m and equity was USD159m.
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