Sberbank’s corporate and investment banking business (Sberbank CIB) said that it implemented a record number of trade finance and documentary operations (TF&DOs) were implemented during 2013, the total amounting to 1.3 trillion roubles (RUB) or about US$43bn.
The volume of documentary business exceeded the equivalent of US$33bn, with documentary transactions within Russia demonstrating the strongest growth. The volume of domestic letters of credit (LCs) in 2013 reached a record RUB100bn, 2.5 times the corresponding figure for 2012. Sberbank CIB added that the stable growth of documentary operations confirms demand for the documentary business’s products and shows that Russian trade is moving towards civilised forms of payment.
Over the course of the year more than 1,500 trade finance deals were implemented amounting to more than US$10.5bn. As a result the total value of the debt portfolio rose more than 30%, totaling US$14bn at the end of 2013.
The largest share of the portfolio was made up of foreign trade operations financing for Sberbank’s clients. Notable deals included a US$600m club deal provided by the largest banks in the Middle East, US$500m raised as part of a partnership agreement with Singapore’s OCBC Bank group as well as a series of deals with leading Chinese financial institutions (FIs). The combined investments attracted over the course of the year amounted to US$5.9bn.
Sberbank CIB added that the positive dynamics seen in recent years continued with growing demand for classic trade finance products with documentary instruments for corporate clients. The number of clients embracing the advantages of post-import financing has steadily increased – clients include major, as well as large and small and medium-sized businesses. Since 2009, the volume of import LCs with financing has more than quadrupled, and amounts to 77% of the total volume of issued LCs.
The number of unsecured LCs within risk limits issued by Sberbank shows strong growth. Over the past two years the debt portfolio has more than tripled, exceeding US$1.3bn at the end of 2013. Cooperation in the area of trade finance services for FIs also continued to expand.
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