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Banking

Table-topping VTB moves to a new phase

VTB Capital has built a powerhouse capital markets business in Russia. Can it become just as influential elsewhere?

A doctored version of a 1920s, Red Army recruitment poster is plastered on Andrey Soloviev’s door. A Soviet soldier points his finger out sternly at the viewer. In the background, lines of factories billow with smoke.

In the amended version, however, VTB Capital’s head of DCM does not seek enlistment (or at least, not in the army). Instead, the soldier demands of the visitor to Soloviev’s office, in one of Moscow’s newest skyscrapers: "Have you brought the mandate?"

Luckily for Soloviev, most of the time these days, the answer seems to be yes. In its four-year history, VTB Capital has soared up the league tables in Russia, particularly in Eurobonds and equity capital markets. In 2011, the DCM team alone closed 13 Eurobond deals and 45 domestic bonds in the year to November 30, according to Dealogic.

Having gone from around 100 employees in 2008 to around 1,000 today, VTB Capital is now number one in the league table for Russian domestic debt, with more than twice the number and volume of deals as its nearest rival.

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