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Armenian lender Ardshinbank has reached an agreement to buy a portion of the retail loan portfolio from the local arm of Russia’s VTB Bank

Ardshinbank stated that the process of transferring the assets of VTB Bank (Armenia) has already started. 

The assets up for sale make up to 11% of VTB Bank’s (Armenia) retail loan portfolio and the deal is valued at AMD24bn ($49.36m). 

Ardshinbank noted that the deal is part of its strategy to bolster its retail banking business in the country.

The agreement will see Ardshinbank cater to the banking needs of 56,000 clients of VTB Bank (Armenia).

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“The current terms of the agreements, including interest rate, tenor and other important conditions of loans will remain unchanged,” Ardshinbank’s statement read. 

Separately, VTB Bank (Armenia) said that the deal is part of its strategy to accelerate digital transformation and streamline processes. 

VTB Bank (Armenia) CEO and chairman of the board of directors Ivan Telegin said: “As part of this update, the bank plans to launch high-tech products, attract new client segments and strengthen its competitive position in the Armenian banking market. Currently, VTB Bank (Armenia) is working on the launch of Mir and UnionPay payment cards.” 

Notably, VTB Bank is facing severe sanctions in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

The sanctions have cut off the European arm of VTB Bank, VTB Bank Europe SE, from its parent and the lender has been put up on sale by German regulators as it faces potential collapse.