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Nomos-Bank, Czech PPF to set up banking group in Russia

Shareholders of Russia's Nomos-Bank have agreed to postpone an IPO and jointly set up a banking group with the Czech Republic's PPF Group N.V., the companies said in a joint statement Thursday.

Nomos-Bank and PPF Group N.V. have reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding with a view to establishing a strategic partnership, set to create one of Russia's largest banking groups. The two financial organizations will establish a holding company, whose equity will be shared by Nomos-Bank and PPF-owned Home Credit & Finance Bank. Each bank will pursue its own business, and no takeover is currently on the table. The press release said: "In this connection, Nomos-Bank postpones its earlier announced plans to hold an IPO." Earlier reports said Nomos-Bank would hold an IPO before 2008. Nomos and PPF are expected to sign a strategic partnership agreement in the last quarter of 2007, after the deal receives the approval of the relevant authorities. Nomos-Bank is ranked among Russia's 30 largest banks in terms of assets and is one of Russia's top three buyers of Russian gold and silver (20%) PPF is one of largest companies in Central and Eastern Europe, and has a controlling stake in Home Credit & Finance Bank. HCFB has been active on the Russian market of retail loans since 2002 and is ranked among the largest 50 banks operating in Russia. (