Top ten Armenian banks according to Russian edition of Forbes

26.07.2022 19:20
Top ten Armenian banks according to Russian edition of Forbes

YEREVAN, July 26. /ARKA/. The Russian edition of Forbes magazine says that for many Russians opening an account in a foreign bank has become an urgent necessity in recent months. In early July, Armenian Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan said that since March, 2022 nearly 30,000 Russian citizens moved to Yerevan "for a long-term stay".

Armenia has 17 commercial banks with more than 500 branches across the country. There are no commercial banks in which the government is a controlling shareholder. The Armenian largest bank by assets is Ameriabank owned by a Russia-based businessman Ruben Vardanyan who was in the Russian Forbes list in 2021 with the wealth of $1bln.

Over the last 25 years not a single bank in the country has faced bankruptcy procedure, says Karen Zakaryan, director of Finarm Association.

Three banks - Ameriabank, Armbusinessbank and Ardshinbank- hold more than a third of the assets of the whole sector. At the same time, according to Zakaryan, none of the country's banks holds more than 25% of the market.

Since Russians can travel to Armenia with their internal passports, the country has become one of the most popular destinations for them to have opened more than 80,000 new accounts, Zakaryan says.


No.1 Ameriabank

Assets: 1.096 trillion Armenian drams (170 bln Russian rubles)

Ratings: Moody's - Ba3, S&P - B+

Ameriabank is the largest bank in Armenia in terms of assets, offering services to corporate and retail clients.

Owners: Ruben Vardanyan's Imast Group (CY) Limited owns 48.9%. The EBRD owns 17.74% and the Asian Development Bank another 13.93%. Two other shareholders, ESPS Holding Limited and Afeyan Foundation for Armenia Inc. each own 11.92% and 7.51% respectively.

No.2 Ardshinbank.

Assets: 1.010 trillion Armenian drams (156 bln rubles)

Ratings: Moody's - Ba3, Fitch - B+

Ardshinbank is one of the largest universal banks in Armenia, focusing on financing large corporate clients, first of all in strategic industries and energy sector, as well as on crediting small and medium businesses. Ardshinbank runs 60 branches in Yerevan and regions of Armenia.

Owners: Ardshinbank belongs to businessman Karen Safaryan through controlled companies. In Russia he is a co-owner of several companies in the Nizhny Novgorod region: in particular, he has a minority stake in the Gorky Popov Communications Equipment Factory, a manufacturer of air communications equipment and medical equipment.

No. 3 ACBA Bank

Assets: 547 billion Armenian drams (84.9 billion rubles)

Ratings: Fitch - B+

ACBA is the fourth largest bank in Armenia. The bank specializes in lending to agriculture, retail and small and medium businesses. ACBA Bank was founded in 1995 as a cooperative bank. In September 2021, the bank carried out an IPO on the Armenian Securities Exchange and sold 500,000 shares with a face value of 15,000 drams each. Thus, the bank raised 7.5 billion drams.

The owners: ACBA Federation - 83.68%, subsidiary" of French financial group Credit Agricola, SACAM International - 4.55%. The remaining 11.77% are held by employees of the bank under a special program, as well as individuals and legal entities who bought shares on the securities exchange.

№ 4 Inecobank

Assets: 427 billion Armenian drams (66.3 billion rubles)

Ratings: Moody's - B1

Inecobank was founded in 1996 by two Armenian businessmen, Avetis Baloyan and Karen Safaryan. The bank offers a full range of banking services, including digital banking to individuals and corporate clients.

The owners: founders Avetis Baloyan and Karen Safaryan own 35.42% and 30.62%, respectively. The Dutch investment fund agRIF Cooperatief U.A. owns 10.01%, the American investment company Developing World Markets (DWM) 5.09% and Ineco Partners CJSC 4.99%.

№ 5 Converse Bank

Assets: 378 billion Armenian drams (58.7 billion rubles)

Ratings: Moody's - B1

Converse Bank offers a variety of services to individuals and legal entities and is represented by 35 branches in Yerevan and regions. The Bank was founded in 1993. In 2007 the 95% stake was bought by Eduardo Eurnekian, an Argentinean entrepreneur of Armenian origin.

Owners: Eduardo Eurnekian - 95% through Advance Global Investment and Haypost Trust Management. The remaining 5% belongs to the Armenian Apostolic Church.

No.6 Armeconombank.

Assets: 360 billion Armenian drams (55.9 billion rubles)

Ratings: Moody's - B1

Armeconombank was established in 1991. It was the first Armenian bank to be transformed into a joint-stock company. Armeconombank works as a universal credit organization. Since 2002, its shares have been traded on the Armenian Securities Exchange.

The owners: the principal owners are the Sukiasyan family (57.7%), 42.3% are minority shareholders.

No.7 Armbusinessbank

Assets: 823 billion Armenian drams (127.7 billion rubles)

Ratings: none

Armbusinessbank is one of the three largest banks in Armenia. The bank specializes in corporate clients, but has been actively developing its retail business in recent years. Armbusinessbank was founded in 1991.

In March 2022 the bank changed its owner - the former shareholders Vitaly Grigoryants (95% stake) and Arsen Mikayelyan (5%) sold the bank to Swiss company MFM Global Invest and the refinancing credit organization Housing for Young People. The new owners recapitalized Armbusinessbank by 96 billion drams and 32 billion drams respectively.

Owners: almost 75% is now owned by the Swiss company MFM Global Invest L.T.D. The remaining stake is owned by Housing for the Young, an organization founded by the Central Bank.

No. 8 ArmSwissbank

Assets: 398 billion Armenian drams (61.8 billion rubles)

Ratings: none

ArmSwissbank was founded in 2004 by Vartan Sirmakes, the co-owner of Franck Muller Watchland, a Swiss businessman of Armenian origin. The bank focuses on corporate lending, investment business and private banking. It does not specialize in mass retail banking.

Owners: Vartan Sirmakes, a businessman, fully owns ArmSwissbank through HVS Holding GmbH and FMTM Distribution LTD.

№ 9 VTB (Armenia)

Assets: 362 billion Armenian drams (56.2 billion rubles)

Ratings: none

VTB (Armenia) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Russia's VTB Bank. It is a universal bank offering a wide range of banking services. In February 2022, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions against the Russian VTB which were joined by the UK and the EU. VTB assets in these countries were frozen. VTB Armenia closed 12% of branches in the country: four branches in Yerevan and five more in other locations.

Owners: 100% of VTB (Armenia) shares are owned by VTB Group.

No 10 Araratbank

Assets: 268 billion Armenian drams (41.6 billion rubles)

Ratings: none

Araratbank renders financial services to individuals and legal entities, and provides brokerage services in the local and international markets. The bank has 51 branches: 50 in Armenia and one in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

Owners: Beglaryan family is the key shareholder of the bank. Barsegh Beglaryan owns 22.63% directly, another 72.73% through the oil company Flash LCC. His son, Sanasar Beglaryan, owns 4.28% of the bank. -0- 


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