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UkrGasBank: safe & sound


In the choppy waters of the current financial crisis flooding global markets commercial bank UkrGasBank of Ukraine stands out as a rock for its customers, ranking the first amongst the group of large banks by net assets.

The Bank has never faced serious financial difficulties, pundits say. It is loyal to its clients and keeps widening its product range focusing on deposit programs and payroll projects.

Since 2004 UkrGasBank has increased its capital more than tenfold and by 21.6% in current year alone. In H1, 2008 its assets grew by 18% totaling UAH12.17 bn as against 16.6% across the banking system. Projections envisage a further asset increase up to UAH16.1 bn by year end, amounting for 2.16% of totals assets across the system. Over the same period, Bank’s due to corporates and individuals gained another 23.1%, making UAH6.4 bn or 1.04% of the gross deposit portfolio of Ukrainian banking.

UkrGasBank’s strategy aims to achieve 1.74% and 2.11% share of total banking deposits and loans respectively till end 2008. On the deposit side as of Q2, 2008 54% of funds represented retail time deposits, attracted not without the agency of Bank’s regular promotion campaigns and deposit programs, such as Golden Guarantee for private and Golden Standard for corporate clients, enabling the customers to keep their funds in gold, whilst generating interest on these deposits. Besides, UkrGasBank is a top gold trader in the market that sold 1.6 tons of gold in 2007 and aims at 3.25 tons this year.

The customer loan book represented 48.7% of Bank’s net assets as of July 1, 2008 with a further projection of increase up to 53.8% by year end. The Bank is active in salary projects, servicing over 1930 enterprises, including international airport Borispol, construction company Kievgorstroy-1, Dragomanov national teachers training University, Mironovski bread making factory. As of October 1, 2008 345 thousand card accounts were opened under 536 payrolls.

The Bank’s customers can access its network of 375 stationary points of sale, 540 own ATMs and another 1533 ones within partner banks. UkrGasBank also provides money remittance services by virtue of cooperation with Anelik and Money Gram.

The Bank has been rated by Fitch and Moody’s. Andrei Zaripov, analyst of Alpha Capital, underscores that the Bank’s H1 profit and asset growth rate outpaced the market average in the country, and recommends to buy its shares, target price being $1.3 per share. This is in tune with Victoria Bezverhaya, analyst of Millenium Capital, who stresses that the Bank had no liquidity problems over the period and managed to increase its loan books in consumer and corporate sectors. According to her, UkrGasBank considerably improved consolidating approach on the loan side which propped up its capital growth rate beyond expectations. She recommends to buy at $0.77 per share as target.

The FundMarket has come up with its own calculations. As per the aforementioned pundits, the average growth rate constitutes 72.5%, given the current $0.6 price for the issuer’s security. Hence, the target should be $1.04.

At the same time it is worth mentioning, that although the Bank’s shares lost 30% since the turn of the year, the average market plummeted by as much as 59%. And that speaks volumes.


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