Tatar banks expand with help of western capital
Tatarstan has an unusually strong banking sector among Russian regions. This makes it an attractive market for banks from Moscow and abroad, who have been opening branches throughout the region. But local banks are actually growing faster than the new arrivals, and are now expanding into other regions of Russia.
A good example is Ak Bars Bank, which is the biggest bank in the Republic. It has grown to be one of the strongest banks in the country, and is now the tenth-largest Russian bank by own capital.
The bank’s net income shows the strong growth the bank has achieved – it grew from R46 million in 2003, up to R126 million in 2004, and then soared to R1,580 million in 2006. It looks set to surpass that figure in its 2007 results.
A large part of that income derives from its leading place in the booming banking market of Tatarstan, where the bank has a 35% share of the lending market and the largest branch network, of 20 branches and 65 outlets.