The National Bank TRUST (NB TRUST), a retail bank in Russia, is looking to buy certain assets of state-owned lender VTB.

VTB Bank’s shares are a part of a range of non-core assets of the public joint-stock company Bank Otkritie Financial Corporation.

NB TRUST, as a non-core asset bank (NAB), will acquire VTB Bank’s shares as part of its anti-bankruptcy plan.

The move has been approved by the Bank of Russia, the country’s central bank. Both NB TRUST and Otkritie is controlled by Russia’s central bank.

TRUST will buy Otkritie’s non-core assets – including the VTB stake – as the central bank prepares to divest Otkritie later.

TRUST will purchase the stakes using its own funds as well as up to RUB79.8bn ($1bn) central bank deposit, the Bank of Russia said.

In a 2017 state bailout, TRUST acquired the non-performing assets (NPAs) from three private banking groups.

The VTB stake is not an NPA, but a non-core asset of Otkritie and since both VTB and Otkritie are competitors, these stakes will be purchased by TRUST.

This is to eliminate the situation wherein a bank holds more than 9% of shares in a competing lender, who has another controlling shareholder, the central bank said.

In its press release, Bank of Russia wrote: “The Bank of Russia has approved amendments to the Plan for the Bank of Russia’s Participation in the Implementation of Measures Aimed at Preventing National Bank TRUST’s Bankruptcy (hereinafter, the non-core asset bank, NAB).

“These measures imply the acquisition by the NAB of a range of non-core assets of Public Joint-Stock Company ‘Bank Otkritie Financial Corporation’ (hereinafter, Bank Otkritie Financial Corporation), including the shares of VTB Bank (PJSC).

“The acquisition of these assets by the NAB is needed to remove the non-core assets from the balance sheet of Bank Otkritie Financial Corporation within its preparation for selling and was recommended by investment consultants.”