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Деньги на недвижимости: стоит ли покупать акции застройщиков

Продление программы льготной ипотеки подстегнет активность на российском рынке недвижимости в этом году, считают аналитики. Не пора ли покупать акции девелоперов?
Сегодня премьер-министр Дмитрий Медведев продлил программу субсидирования ипотечных кредитов на первичном рынке до конца 2016 года. Изначально планировалось, что льготная ипотека будет доступна россиянам лишь до 29 февраля текущего года, однако высокий спрос на жилищные кредиты по ставке не более 12% годовых вынудил правительство пересмотреть сроки действия программы.

По данным Минфина, к концу января в стране было выдано 227,6 тыс. льготных ипотечных кредитов на общую сумму 405,1 млрд руб. Объем государственных субсидий составил 3,3 млрд руб. При этом за один только январь банки выдали 17 тыс. льготных ипотечных кредитов на сумму 30,8 млрд руб.

Министр строительства и ЖКХ Михаил Мень считает, что продление программы субсидирования процентной ставки по ипотеке позволит застройщикам возобновить реализацию «замороженных» проектов. Он ожидает, что по итогам этого года объем ввода нового жилья сохранится на прошлогоднем уровне — 83–84 млн кв. м. Всего Минстрой выдал разрешений на строительство более чем 100 млн кв. м жилья до конца 2016 года.

Оживление на рынке недвижимости может заинтересовать участников фондового рынка, которые захотят вложиться в акции главных бенефициаров программы льготной ипотеки — крупных девелоперов, отмечают финансовые аналитики.

По мнению Василия Тануркова, замначальника анализа рынка акций в ИК «Велес Капитал», рост ипотечного кредитования будет способствовать улучшению финансовых показателей застройщиков. Поддержку спросу на жилье может, по его словам, оказать и восстановление цен на нефть в этом году. «Во всяком случае, в 2016 году цены на квартиры не будут так падать, как в предыдущие годы», — пояснил финансист.

Акции некоторых девелоперов могут вырасти в течение года, считает Танурков. Он советует обратить внимание на ценные бумаги группы ПИК, которые с начала 2016 года успели подорожать на 16,3%, и акции «Группы ЛСР», которые, напротив, упали за этот период на 16,7% из-за сокращения продаж на 36% в 2015 году. По мнению аналитика, «Группа ЛСР» может значительно улучшить свое положение благодаря проекту «Зиларт» (жилой комплекс бизнес-класса на Автозаводской улице в Москве), который позволил ей стать вторым по величине застройщиком столицы. Первые дома в этом жилом комплексе будут сданы только в 2017 году, но продажа квартир уже началась, и их стоимость будет только расти, добавил Танурков.

Начальник аналитического департамента УК «Русский стандарт» Сергей Суверов предупреждает, что инвестиции в застройщиков требуют избирательного подхода. «Сейчас инвесторы вкладывают деньги в акции компаний с высокими дивидендами или покупают те бумаги, которые стремительно растут. На рынке не так много девелоперов, которые соответствуют хотя бы одному из этих критериев», — говорит Суверов.

К слабым сторонам компаний-застройщиков Суверов отнес рублевую выручку, которая может снижаться из-за замедления потребительского спроса. По его мнению, в связи с падением реальных доходов населения цены на недвижимость просядут еще на 10–15% в этом году, а значит, и выручка застройщиков может снизиться.

Аналитик УК «Альфа Капитал» Андрей Шенк настроен в отношении акций девелоперов еще менее оптимистично. «Сейчас не лучшее время, чтобы покупать бумаги застройщиков. Во-первых, сильно упал спрос на недвижимость, и льготная ипотека вряд ли поможет ему существенно вырасти. Во-вторых, девелоперы сконцентрированы на сегменте элитного жилья, поэтому продление программы льготной ипотеки не сделает погоду для их бизнеса», — пояснил он.

Между тем опрос, проведенный Национальным агентством финансовых исследований (НАФИ), показал, что 14% россиян планируют улучшить жилищные условия в ближайшие три года. Из них по меньшей мере 42% рассчитывают исключительно на ипотеку. Годом ранее доля россиян, готовых улучшить жилищные условия за счет ипотечного кредита, составляла лишь 18%

Подробнее на РБК:
http://money.rbc.ru/news/56d5c1719a794728fd07c1a4?from=details

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Компания «ИнтерЛабСервис» приняла участие в завершающем цикле обучения специалистов филиалов ФГБУ «Центр оценки качества зерна»

В ходе курса «Определение ГМО в продукции», который проходил «Центре оценки качества зерна», подробно обсуждались вопросы нормативно-правового регулирования в сфере ГМО в РФ и в мире, порядок определения ГМО в продукции, правила забора и транспортировки материала для исследования и др.

Специалисты Компании «ИнтерЛабСервис» — руководитель направления по контролю качества продуктов питания Дроботова Д.Ю. и ведущий менеджер Рубцова М.А. провели обучение основам организации и комплексному оснащению лаборатории с обзором решений от компании QIAGEN по автоматизации этапов ПЦР-диагностики.

 

Слушателям была представлена станция QIAcube, которая позволяет автоматизировать этап выделения трансгенной ДНК из образцов методом сорбции на силике с использованием миницентрифужных колонок QIAGEN.

В результате существенно упрощается процесс пробоподготовки и гарантируется высокий выход ДНК с получением достоверных результатов, что особенно важно при проведении количественных исследований ГМО в образцах.

Отдельное внимание было уделено снижению числа невалидных результатов. В случае использования ручного метода выделения ДНК при работе со сложными образцами возможно получение недостаточного для анализа количества ДНК, либо ДНК с большим количеством примесей, что может привести к получению невалидных или ложноотрицательных результатов.

 

Спектрофотометр QIAxpert позволяет проводить контроль качества выделения ДНК в исследуемых образцах непосредственно перед постановкой ПЦР. В этом случае исключается повторная постановка ПЦР и сокращается время анализа.

Для всех групп слушателей были проведены практические занятия по выделению трансгенной ДНК наборами «ДНК-сорб-С». Для скрининга и идентификации ГМ-линий использовались наборы АмплиСенс®ГМ-соя-FL и АмплиСенс®ГМ-кукуруза-FL (пр-во ФГБУ ЦНИИ Эпидемиологии).


Цикл теоретических и практических занятий по теме «Определение ГМО в продукции» проходил на базе ФГБУ «Центр оценки качества зерна» в г. Раменское, и завершился 19 февраля. Стажировку проходили специалисты из лабораторий филиалов ФГБУ «Центр оценки качества зерна» г. Москва, Курск, Волгоград, Ростов-на-Дону, Краснодар, Барнаул, Владивосток.

Компания «ИнтерЛабСервис» выражает свою благодарность коллективу ФГБУ «Центр оценки качества зерна» за совместную плодотворную работу и двусторонний обмен знаниями.

 

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ЦБ утвердил перечень 10 системно значимых банков

Банк России утвердил перечень 10 системно значимых банков, на которые будут распространяться требования к соблюдению показателя краткосрочной ликвидности и дополнительные требования к достаточности капитала в соответствии с нормами «Базеля III». В список 10 системно значимых банков вошли «Юникредит банк», Газпромбанк, ВТБ, Альфа-банк, Сбербанк, Банк «ФК Открытие», Росбанк, Промсвязьбанк, Райффайзенбанк и Россельхозбанк.

На долю этих банков приходится более 60% совокупных активов российского банковского сектора.

Норматив краткосрочной ликвидности будет введен с 1 января 2016 г. с минимальным значением 70% с повышением на 10 процентных пунктов ежегодно до достижения величины 100% с 1 января 2019 г.

http://www.vedomosti.ru/finance/news/2015/10/20/613513-perechen-sistemno-znachimih

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Райффайзенбанк планирует сократить свой бизнес в России и Украине

Райффайзенбанк планирует сократить свой бизнес в России и Украине на 20% и 30% соответственно. Об этом сообщает пресс-служба банка. Сокращение бизнеса одной из самых крупных европейских банковских групп связано с финансовыми результатами за 2014 год в указанных странах.

Согласно отчета банка, в 2014 году убытки финансовой группы Raiffeisen Bank International AG (Австрія) составили 493 млн. евро.

При этом, бизнес в России остается прибыльным, в отличие от убыточного бизнеса в Украине. Группа Raiffeisen Bank International AG (Австрія) также планирует продать филиалы в Польше и Словении.
Такие шаги позволят группе к 2017 году увеличить коэффициент достаточности капитала с 10% до 12%.

Райффайзенбанк успешно работает на рынке Украины и России и зарекомендовал себя как надежный бакн с высоким сервисом обслуживания клиентов. Данный банк своевременно и в полном объеме выполнял свои обязательства перед вкладчиками как во время глобального кризиса 2008-2009 гг., так и во время сегодняшнего кризиса в Украине и России.

http://denegday.ru/bankpress/1423565814-raiffaizenbank-planiruet-sokratit-svoi-biznes-v-rossii-i-ukraine.html

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Коллекция монет Вагита Алекперова будет доступна всем, но по записи

В самом начале 2016 года в Москве в отреставрированном особняке Зиновьевых — Юсуповых в Большом Афанасьевском переулке откроется Международный музей нумизматики, основой которого стала коллекция монет президента ОАО «Лукойл» Вагита Алекперова. Сегодня, 7 октября, он представил музей журналистам и рассказал о формировании коллекции.

Оказалось, что страсть к коллекционированию у него была с самого детства. Как и многие советские мальчишки, Алекперов собирал все: марки, монеты, спичечные коробки и даже отмачивал этикетки с пивных бутылок. Поэтому коллекция его формировалась не год и не два, а почти 50 лет.

Несмотря на разные финансовые возможности в течение жизни, он не прекращал собирать монеты и сейчас может позволить себе уже наиболее ценные экземпляры.

В настоящее время пополнять коллекцию, по признанию Алекперова, ему помогает специальная команда ответственных за это экспертов, которые отслеживают появление на рынке наиболее ценных, редких монет, и «если цена разумна, они их приобретают». При этом российские и советские монеты могут стоить весьма дорого. Для примера: золотая российская монета номиналом 20 руб. 1755 года была продана на аукционе в Лондоне более чем за £1,5 млн, а монету номиналом 50 коп. 1929 года приобрели в Москве за 10 млн руб.

Есть в коллекции Алекперова и любимые предметы. По его словам, это две очень редкие платиновые российские монеты, отчеканенные при Николае I: 6 руб. 1836 года (тираж 11 экземпляров) и 12 руб. 1844 года (тираж всего 4 экземпляра).

Вообще именно российская тема составляет основу коллекции — от петровской эпохи до наших дней. Причем исключительно золото и серебро. Благородные металлы превалируют и в других сегментах коллекции.

«Это материал, не подверженный времени, особенно благородный. То есть он сохраняется веками, тысячелетиями. Мы сейчас фактически знаем историю Древнего Рима по тем монетам, которые выпускались. В каждой из них сосредоточены целые эпохи, которые дают нам представление о том, что было. Поэтому они так и ценятся», — пояснил Алекперов.

На выставке, которой открывается музей, представлено 300 античных золотых монет Древней Греции, Древнего Рима и Византийской империи. Самая ранняя из них — гекта города Фокея, датируемая серединой V века до н. э. Существует всего несколько экземпляров этой монеты, причем лучший из них находится в Москве.

Попасть в Международный музей нумизматики можно бесплатно, но только по предварительной записи. При нем планируются открытие клуба нумизматов, широкая просветительская программа с лекциями и переизданием тематических книг. Кроме того, в настоящее время идут переговоры с одним из банков об открытии в музее отделения, где коллекционеры могли бы безопасно и с минимальной комиссией продавать и покупать монеты и драгоценные металлы.

И еще один примечательный факт. Судя по всему, музей, несмотря на свой частный статус, будет работать еще многие десятилетия, если не века. «Музей и клуб не будут подвержены праву наследования. То есть будет создана такая система, которая позволит им функционировать долгие годы, вопреки даже желанию моих наследников. Музей не будет подвержен ни продаже, ни обмену, ни ликвидации», — особо отметил Алекперов.

Также у Международного музея нумизматики появился свой попечительский совет, куда вошли директор Музеев Московского Кремля Елена Гагарина, директор ГМИИ им. Пушкина Марина Лошак и директор Эрмитажа Михаил Пиотровский.

Источник: www.theartnewspaper.ru/posts/2186/

Интервью с Вагитом Алексперовым

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Dmitry Leus: “How to Motivate Employees”

Dmitry Leus, Chairman of Bank Zapadny

Any bank with long-term ambitions uses a system of employee motivation.  We spoke with Dmitry Leus, Chairman of Bank Zapadny, and asked him to which motivational techniques he has recourse.

 — Dmitry Isaakovich, what do you understand under the concept of “motivation” and what is its application?

— Motivation designates the incentive to act or, more precisely, the activation of motives pre-existing in every human being. Its importance in the world of business, and in particular in the service industry, is to attract and keep the most valuable assets we have — human capital.

Since spring 2011, our Bank has been carrying out an active regional expansion strategy. Within two years, we have created from scratch 40 branches in different regions of the Russian Federation. Accordingly, it was necessary to also create a system of motivation transforming a mere geographical presence into a centre of human excellency. Thus, psychological factors prove to be as important as economic ones in achieving a high return on investment. In general, good motivation systems are a win-win game: they must reflect the interests of all stakeholders of an enterprise — employees, management, and its shareholders.

 — What are the components of your motivational system?

— All the employees of our regional front offices have a basic salary, in addition to a performance bonus at the end of each month. The programme further aims at keeping the growth rate of the basic salary under control over time, in favour of the performance bonus.

Such a system of extrinsic (that is, monetary) rewards is based on the principle that financial bonuses indeed encourage an employee to achieve the best results. Although the theory of extrinsic rewards cannot be generalized to all situations, there is a general consensus that in the world of banking, which derives its meaning from the universe of numbers, psychological motivation may be created through, and measured in, monetary terms.

However, rewards must not be attributed based on management’s own discretion and opinion, but according to measurable and verifiable indicators, lest subjective preference give rise to inequality and damage the team’s sense of unity and common interest. In the context of its remuneration policy, the Bank therefore monitors staff performance in three specific business fields.

The first one is business and sales performance. We set quantitative targets for our front office staff measuring the acquisition of net new money and the successful sale of lending products to prime borrowers. In the second field, we set up indicators for quality of service. In fact, customer service must keep track with the Bank’s geographical expansion and the growth of its customer base. Put differently, quantity and quality must grow in tandem. In the third field, we measure the effectiveness and quality of overall processes, which is the key prerogative of our Moscow head office.

Alongside performance rewards, the Bank has recently also come to rely on bonuses for successfully completed project management. As we are currently actively growing in size, some of our products, processes, and structures need to be adjusted to reflect this. Hence, our need for project management has grown in proportion.

 — Financial incentive is doubtlessly a very effective means of motivation. Does Bank Zapadny also offer career growth?

  — Yes, we also offer the opportunity of career and professional development, which is a very important consideration for increasing an employee’s self-esteem and his reputation within the bank.

Our corporate Intranet provides an appropriate platform for professional development and the creation of a sense of unity and purpose. For example, a “wall of honour” showcases the achievements of our best talents. In addition, we display sales figures for each branch on-line. This allows regional branches to compare their results with other regional branches and creates a spirit of healthy competition, thereby stimulating outliers to turn into performers and performers into leaders. The Intranet also helps management communicate with staff and spread strategic newsletters; alternatively, it may serve as a forum on which expert communities exchange ideas and innovations.

As part of our motivational programme, we also hold internal competitions for management vacancies within Group. Regardless of his geographical location, every employee from the Altai Republic to Kaliningrad is eligible and has the opportunity to become the head of  a newly opened regional branch. This way we seek to foster a long-term relationship between the Bank and its employees and to strengthen loyalty among our people.

  — Dmitry Isaakovich, employee training is the cornerstone in any system of professional development. For example, on-the-job training allows a company to bring new employees up to speed quickly and expert seminars may enhance the skills of senior staff.  Today, many banks have their own in-house learning platform. Does Bank Zapadny have anything similar to offer?

— Of course.  We recently launched a project called the “Learning Tool” — a most useful platform whereby the employees of our newly opened regional branches can actively develop their skills. Also, in addition to in-house seminars, we regularly organize external work groups and corporate retreats during which new business processes, product lines, or the Bank’s overall strategy are on the agenda.

 — In other words, motivational techniques are a key instrument in the successful development of the Bank?

— Yes, absolutely. Like any bank in full expansion, our heartbeat is always in tune with the challenges of modern life and their financial repercussions on the capital markets. Our system of motivation has been instrumental in scaling up our regional presence and has shown that numbers alone do not add up unless motivated by human effort.

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Dmitry Leus: What is a trustworthy bank?

Originally published in : Arguments and Facts

Dmitry Leus

The new law “On Consumer Lending” has passed its first reading in the Russian State Duma. It is expected to make retail banking services more convenient for the general public and is likely to result in an increase in the number of lending requests. It is therefore of paramount importance to rise the level of “financial literacy” among the population. There are currently over 1000 credit institutions in the Russian Federation. But what preciselz makes a bank trustworthy? The answer to this question will help millions of borrowers to decide whether to keep their existing banking relationship or to switch to a new one.

Dmitry Leus, Director of the Board of ZAO Bank Zapadny:

First of all, I would like to attract your attention to the problem of the geographical availability of banking services, in particular in a country as large as Russia. For obvious reasons, most banks prefer to work in big cities. This makes it sometimes difficult for residents of smaller agglomerations to open a bank account and have access to personalized financial advice. We decided to fill this gap.

Last year, we launched a pilot project to establish mini branches in Russia’s small towns. The number of loans issued at these mini branches has already exceeded the number of loans issued at big branches in major cities for the same period of time. Overall, 2012 was a breakthrough year for the Bank, as our retail credit portfolio has more than doubled.

As of today, we operate 45 branches — 9 in the greater Moscow area, and 36 in the Russian regions. Only in the past six months we opened over 22 regional offices — which is some kind of a record. From the point of view of economic development, these branches represent a new resource capacity allowing us to scale up the Bank’s business. From a social point of view, it means new employments in the regions and job security for our staff.

We have already started to work not only in bigger regional centres, but also in small agglomerations with populations over 50 thousand inhabitants.  For example, recently we inaugurated a branch in the small town of Gryazi in the Lipetsk Oblast. Its population does not exceed 46 thousand people, and another 70 thousand live in the nearby villages. It would be unfair to deprive these people of the possibility to open a bank account, make payments, and receive credit.

Let me add that the problem of access to banking services is not only restricted to Russia. The European Union has recently published a proposal to make bank accounts accessible to all European citizens and has spoken of a right to a basic bank account. In its press release, the EU Commission justified the proposal explaining that bank accounts have become essential to participating fully in the economic and social life of a modern society in which the use of cash is decreasing. In fact, studies have shown that over 58 million EU citizens over the age of 15 do not have a payment account.

In this context, a trustworthy bank is a bank which satisfies the right of everyone to a simple bank account irrespective of a person’s place of residence and financial situation. We try to build trust on our general openness and transparency, including the transparency related to the fees we charge.

Returning to Russia and the Russian regions, I would also like to highlight the strong financial discipline of small-town borrowers.  Their positive credit history allows us to award them additional loans at preferential rates.

A banking product which was until now only rarely available in small towns are pensioner loans. When I started to work with elderly people I immediately noticed that they behaved very responsibly. Put differently, they practically did not delay their loan payments. We have therefore no difficulties in providing them with new lending products best tailored to their needs.

It is very important to us that our clients are not losing their time in long waiting lines. To this effect, we monitor in our branches the very possibility of the emergence of a waiting line, for example through an infrastructure of self-servicing terminals allowing our customers to make interest payments independently.

People entrust the bank with one of their most valuable material assets — their lifelong earnings. Against this emotional background, it is important that when visiting the Bank, customers experience a quality of service matching their expectations. Therefore, a trustworthy bank is a bank whose employees, in their everyday customer dealings, give concrete meaning to the notion of trust. It goes without saying that this also implies an attractive compensation plan for our staff.

By way of digression, our clients were the first to appreciate the benefits of our back office reorganization. We set up a new client service center in Voronezh, thereby successfully integrating our call center, credit research center, IT department, and operations. Streamlining these processes has been instrumental in enhancing the client’s overall service experience.

It is not necessary to have a financial education to understand that a trustworthy bank in the financial sense of the term is a bank with a solid capitalisation. Bank Zapadny has recently increased its share capital by almost RUB 1bn, thereby improve its creditworthiness before its customers.

Currently, our Board of  Directors is considering the issue of  another 2.5bn of ordinary shares at RUB 1 each, to be placed on the Moscow Stock Exchange. Once done, anyone can become one of the Bank’s owners. By raising RUB 2.5bn, we expect to increase the Bank’s capital by 127% and the Bank’s total capitalisation will amount to RUB 5.5bn.

With a clear business structure and a flat hierarchy, Bank Zapadny was able to attract new shareholders in the form of its own regional staff. The bank is also in the process of attracting a number of institutional investors.

With regard to our development plans,over the next two years, we are planning to reach a return on equity ranging from 35-40%. To achieve this objective, top management has a worked out a clear road map for business development. In addition, a revised long-term strategy of the Bank is in the approval process.

Let me conclude with some questions which are being asked on a regular basis by our customers themselves: Why should we become your clients? What makes you trustworthy? Why should we not switch to another bank?

My answer is transparency. The growth of our business is obvious. Each month we attract more than ten thousand new customers. These are private individuals, entrepreneurs, representatives of small and medium-sized businesses. By increasing our network of regional branches, we are in the process of doubling our customer base. On a qualitative level, we are observing that the average customer stays with the bank not only longer, but also has recourse to a wider product offering. All this goes hand in hand with increased productivity. Each quarter we see an increase in profit items not related to our lending activities, but rather to our universal banking offering.

All these factors give us self-assurance and confidence. Our shareholders and employees believe in the Bank’s future, and this may be another distinctive feature of a trustworthy bank.

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Mortgages: Both Sides of the Medal

Faina Filina, exclusive for Ipocredit.Ru

Dmitry Leus: “If income allows it, I advise early mortgage repayment”

Buying a property is certainly not a situation when one should “jump in feet first”, in particular when it comes to taking out a mortgage. Which are the main points potential mortgage buyers should keep in mind?

 Suppose you decided to improve your housing situation: buy your own flat, move from a two-bedroom flat into a three-bedroom apartment, or move closer to the centre. The decision is taken…, but you cannot afford it. That is the exact moment when the concept of the mortgage comes to mind.

Some view mortgages as a form of modern enslavement but, honestly, saving millions is a difficult task for common mortals. Of course, mortgages have their advantages and disadvantages. There are a lot of small but important details borrowers should know in order to avoid trouble. One thing is clear — on your road to the paradise of home owners, do not stop at the first bank, and do not blindly agree to all conditions.

Take it or leave it

In Summer 2011, the mortgage market was very attractive for borrowers — thousands of offers, promotions, discounts, as lenders competed to win over customers.

Then came fears over the possibility of a “second wave” of the crisis. And things on the mortgage market began to change…

Currently, banks have started to raise interest rates on loans, including mortgages. For the moment the increase is still small, not over 1 percent, but that may change…

“In the current macroeconomic environment, new home owners wishing to apply for a mortgage should act quickly”, recommends the Chairman of Bank Zapadny, Dmitry Leus, justifying his position by expert opinion stating that interest rates are not expected to fall in the short to mid term. Quite the opposite: “in fact, in crisis situations, banks not only tend to increase interest rates, but also to adopt more restrictive mortgage approval processes”, explains the banking specialist. “In other words, client applications run a greater risk of being rejected, as assumptions are tested against a more pessimistic scenario, and documentary evidence requirements with regard to client data such as income history undergo higher scrutiny”, says Dmitry Leus.

“Many banks have begun to tighten credit conditions. This is the result of increased costs of credit resources. Better to jump on the bandwagon of low rates right now”, equally confirms Sergei Arzyantsev, Head of Mortgage Lending at Nomos Bank.

Decades, not years

When taking the decision to apply for a mortgage, the first thing to assess is one’s own financial strength. A maximum of prudence should be used, as mortgages are serviced over decades.

However, according to the Head of Mortgage and Consumer Lending at SMP Bank, Natalia Konyakhina, the loan’s term can be determined by the borrower himself. “Basically, people take out a mortgage for 10 to 15 years and repay within 5 to 7 years”, she says. “The longer the term, the greater the interest premium paid to the bank, warns Dmitry Leus from Bank Zapadny. “If income allows it, I advise early mortgage repayment”.

When making a decision about buying a property with a mortgage, it is important not to be frightened. In fact, for most people mortgages are the only way to turn into home owners, without having to save up for years (and see these savings finally eroded by inflation). According to Dmitry Leus, mortgages are a time-tested, relatively comfortable, streamlined, and affordable tool to solve the housing question.

On the other hand, it would be misguided to take mortgages lightly. Repayment is mandatory and must be made on a regular basis, unless your home be repossessed. Accordingly, it is necessary to calculate what portion of family income can comfortably be spent on repayment — without living on bread and water.

What it takes

While deciding on a mortgage, it is not only the borrower who assesses his financial capacities. So does the bank…

“The borrower must have a stable job”, argues Natalia Konyakhina. It is a good sign if the borrower already owns an apartment, a secondary residence, a car, or any other assets of value. Equally important is a positive credit history”.

“An official proof of income is an icebreaker for most banks”, says Dmitry Leus. “However, even the existence of historical income figures as, for example, evidenced in an applicant’s official tax declaration, cannot guarantee that such income will always be available over the mortgage’s life”. Therefore banks are more and more often using internal questionnaires to document the income history of their potential clients. As a consequence, interest rates may be slightly higher.

The average borrower’s age is between 27 and 45, but the range may be wider. “Our applicants tend to be between 21 and 60 years old”, says Dmitry Leus.

Better not bet

Another important aspect worth consideration is the loan currency. “It is better to take out a mortgage in the currency of the borrower’s income, in order to avoid increased mortgage costs due to exchange rate fluctuations”, says Natalya Konyakhina.

“For borrowers with income in Russian roubles, the mortgage should, of course, only be taken in roubles”, agrees Sergey Arzyantsev. “It is nonsense to take a mortgage loan denominated in dollars/euros, thereby entering into a bet on whether the dollar/euro currency pair will weaken against the rouble”. “If the borrower’s main income is in roubles, the mortgage should definitely be in roubles too”, confirms Dmitry Leus from Bank Zapadny. “This will at least help avoid taking an unnecessary currency risk”. According to Dmitry Leus, it is important not to be naive about floating rate mortgage proposals, which are normally linked to such instruments as the MosPrime (Moscow Prime Offered Rate), or the Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate), or to the Central Bank’s own refinancing rate“. I am very cautious with regard to this option”, says Dmitry Leus. “Interest rates can only go up right now and, in general, when it comes to mortgages, exchange rate uncertainty is an undesirable additional burden for the borrower”.

On the other hand, by making a simple calculation, one can see that floating rate offers can look quite attractive. For example, one bank offers 9.75% for the first five years, and 4.5% above MosPrime (today at 6.64%) during the remaining years.

A comfortable bank

When choosing a mortgage provider, it is necessary to pay attention to some minor, but nonetheless important details. “It is better to take out a mortgage at a stable bank with a good reputation, where mortgage lending is part of core business”, says Natalya Konyakhina from SMP Bank.

“First of all, you need to check in which currency the bank is willing to offer you a mortgage”, adds Dmitry Leus. “Then compare interest rates and clarify the requirements with regard to the property to be purchased”.

According to Sergei Arzyantsev from Nomos Bank, one needs to pay attention not only to interest rates, but also to a bank’s possibility to mortgage various non standard activities such as redevelopments, or real estates which were owned for less than three years by their previous owner.

“One has also to consider whether the bank takes into account revenue sources in addition to the official tax declaration of the main borrower, and whether the banks is ready to accept co-borrowers (guarantors) different from the main borrower and his spouse. This can be of key importance, for example when documented income is short of 5000 roubles, in order to buy the house of one’s dreams.

Meanwhile, a bank’s quality of service is also important. Always pay attention to the level of service on the first visit to a bank. A very good sign is when a bank assigns a personal manager to their new client right away. At least it prevents you from telling the same story over and over to different employees. The package of documents required for a mortgage application is quite big. It is therefore helpful when a single banker takes ownership for the coordination of the entire process.

In addition, borrowers should remember that they will have to regularly visit the bank over many years. It is important that there be no queues and that the credit institution’s opening hours be flexible. In Russia, there are still banks that close at 6pm which is surprising, given that most clients finish work at the same time or later.

According to Sergei Arzyantsev, it is also important to get clarity on the bank’s overall fee structure, including arrangement and other one-off fees payable upon loan draw down.

Payback time

There are two ways of repaying a mortgage loan — full repayment (capital and interest on a monthly basis) and interest-only (with a final lump sum payment at maturity).

An interest-only mortgage, as its name indicates, implies equal interest payments every month, and a lump sum principal repayment at the end of the mortgage term. On the other hand, a repayment mortgage implies interest and principal payments each month. Thus, the amount is typically higher at the beginning of the mortgage term. Over time, these payments decrease due to the fact that interest is charged on a smaller debt.

Sergei Arzyantsev from Nomos Bank believes that the full repayment strategy is somewhat of a marketing trick used by lenders to be able to point to decreasing mortgage payments and, allegedly, higher savings for borrowers. In fact, this offer is by no means better for borrowers, and sometimes even less favourable, as the real value of money remains the same.

Dmitry Leus from Bank Zapadny takes a different view and gives the following example: suppose you borrowed 1 million roubles for 10 years at a rate of 11.25% p.a. In the scenario of an interest-only mortgage, 13 854 roubles are due every month during the entire mortgage period. The structure of payments will change as follows: in the first month, the principal repayment will amount to 4607 roubles whereas interest amounts are 9247 roubles — in the last month 27 486 roubles and and 271 roubles respectively. Over the entire mortgage term, aggregate interest payments will have amounted to 676 412 roubles (not including one-off charges, insurance, and monthly administrative fees).

In case of a full repayment scheme, the first repayment will amount to 8333 roubles, and interest is 9246 roubles. The total amount of the payment will be higher than in the first example – 17 579 roubles. Then, the amount of debt will be reduced by 8333 roubles, and so will be the interest payments: 17 805 roubles in the second month, and 17 703 roubles in the third month, and so on. In the last month, the total payment amount will be 8408 roubles, of which 8333 in repayment and 74 in interest. Over the entire mortgage term, total interest payments will have amounted to only 566 893 roubles (not including one-off charges, insurance, and monthly administrative fees).

Thus, in a scenario of constant interest rates, total interest payments for a repayment mortgage will be 109 519 roubles lower than for an interest-only mortgage. Under such assumptions, repayment mortgages seem to be more favourable for borrowers.

According to Sergei Arzyantsev, the full repayment strategy has only one caveat. When repayment mortgages are sold to customers — and payments are claimed to be lower than for interest-only mortgages — the option of early repayment under interest-only mortgages is completely passed over in silence. In reality, no one prevents interest-only borrowers to down-pay as frequently as under a full repayment scenario. Under such a hypothesis, total interest payments are absolutely identical.

(All figures were correct at the time of writing).

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Dmitry Leus: “The Development of the Russian Regions is Our Means of Survival”

By Alexander Golovin

Source: Banking Review, www.bosfera.ru

The Russian banking system is showing signs of a liquidity crisis, with growing fears of a financial crisis, and Alexei Kudrin is speaking about a full-fledged economic crisis. At the same time, the Chairman of Bank Zapadny, Dmitry Leus, speaks about hyper-liquidity and contemplates conducting an IPO.

  • Dmitry Isaakovich, there is a general belief that small banks must specialize in order to be successful. On the other hand, you offer a relatively broad product line and behave like a universal bank. Why did you choose such a strategy?

— The truth is that we are not a universal bank in the full sense of the term, as our main focus is still in retail banking. But our retail offering is universal indeed – mortgage loans, car loans, overdraft loans, and other consumer lending products. When it comes to loans for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), we currently adopt a more cautious approach. I am not saying that we are not working at all in that sector, but corporate lending requires a more complex analysis of our customers. In addition, the last two years have seen defaults mostly in the sector of SME lending.

On the other hand, an analysis of default statistics shows that mortgage lending is a relatively safe product. Unfortunately, it is impossible to survive from mortgages only, due to lower profit margins in this segment.

  • Can you tell us more about the mortgage lending market? Are you working with the Agency for Housing Mortgage Lending (AHML), an institution studying the international experience of mortgage lending in order to introduce best practices into Russia?

— AHML requires its partner to fulfil certain criteria. However, in my opinion, a large part of our country does not meet these criteria. Unfortunately, unofficial revenues still constitute an important part of the Russian economy.

In general, the belief that credit should only be awarded based on documented income is misguided. Take a 15-year mortgage – who in our country can look back to a 15-years track record within one single company? The focus should therefore be on the collateral. If a loan can be justified in light of the collateral, then less attention should be given to the income history of the creditor.

  • Does that mean that you raise capital based on your liabilities?

— Correct. We basically use deposits when lending, in addition to the Bank’s capital, of course.

  • Is this not too risky? A bank’s liabilities are of a short-term nature, as deposits may be withdrawn at any moment. A bank’s assets, however, often take years to mature.

— I do not deny that there is a certain risk involved. Nevertheless, on average, a mortgage loan’s maturity amounts to 5 years. In addition, any loan, even if it hasn’t been awarded according to AHML standards, may be ultimately sold. Sberbank, for instance, offers such programmes, as well as the other banks. There are also partner programmes that allow raising liquidity when necessary. But for us this is the last resort, because it is not our goal to work as an agent. We intend to preserve our client base and to offer them the products and services they ask for.

  • I have often heard private bankers complain that the mortgage sector is an “unlevel” playing field. Do you agree that privately-owned and state banks are not competing at arm’s length?

— I agree, but we should keep in mind that unequal conditions do not only prevail on the mortgage market. A big player such as Sberbank is able to provide SME lending at a rate of 8% p.a. whereas our average-weighted cost of funds ranges between 8.5 and 8.75%.

On the other hand, we have our own competitive advantages. We can afford to show flexibility when it comes to evidentiary requirements with regard to a client’s income. In addition, as a small bank, we can immediately adapt to sudden market changes. To turn around a big bank is something else. Our mortgage rates are therefore cheaper than Sberbank’s at the moment. This is because we were recently able to sell an important portfolio of securities, and have even excess liquidity now. These funds need to be invested somewhere, and this enables us to lend at lower margins.

Every international consultant will confirm that an ideal credit portfolio should have the following outlook: 50% of it should be invested into collateralized loans, 10-15% should be invested into consumer lending, or other high-yield credits, and 20-30% should be kept in treasury bonds or other safe-haven securities which can easily be sold or refinanced with the Central Bank.

  • You have recently engaged in consumer lending. What has been your experience?

— We had mortgage rates starting at 9.95% and noticed that some client agreed to these conditions. The average rate on the market is currently 10%. We can afford lower rates and have no plans to raise them because we dispose of sufficient liquidity. However, at some point we will nevertheless have to increase our rates, because the next wave of funding is likely to be more expensive. In any event, consumer loans are a good way of boosting our overall profitability

  • There are many similar products on the market now. What is your competitive advantage?

— The most important thing in consumer lending is a good organization of sales, in addition to a high-quality client service. For instance, our “New Year’s Loan” is designed for people who cannot afford to buy Christmas presents for their beloved ones. What counts for such clients is the speed at which the loan is issued. They are not bothered by the fact that they will have to pay a premium of RUB 200 per month. We can offer a quick service if the client has good scores and underwriting results. The first criterion is credit scores. Some lenders get satisfied with good scores and will mechanically award the loan. For us, scoring is just the first step, the second step being underwriting. We may not have the lowest rates on the market, but in order to keep default rates low we put quality over volume.

  • Let’s return to funding. Is it correct to say that client deposits constitute about half of your liabilities?

— Yes, we have more than RUB 9bn in deposits and an overall balance of RUB 18.5bn.

  • At the same time, I understand you are not attracting clients by means of higher deposit rates. By which means do you attract them?

— I have the impression that we have less and less people shopping around and going from bank to bank in search of the best interest rates.

  • Well, I shop around…

— You must be a very reliable client then… [laughs]. No, of course, there are such people, but they are not in the majority. We have a lot of clients who know that Bank Zapadny has been working on the credit market for over five years – and has survived the crisis. Of course, we will have to increase our rates at some point, to be in line with the market, but we will never be able to offer the highest interest rates. In fact, our experience has shown that even during times of strong discrepancy in deposit interest rates, capital outflows do not exceed 20-30%.

  • You are working on a joint project with the pharmacy chain “Rigla”. A small bank collaborating with a big network of pharmacies…? What is the nature of your collaboration?

— We are currently launching a pilot project during which Bank Zapadny will be present with a small bank counter in ten “Rigla” branches. For “Rigla” this generates an inflow of new customers mainly interested in our services but also having a look at the pharmacy’s offering – and vice versa. At the same time, such an approach brings the bank closer to its clients. Traditionally, a visit at the bank has to be planned long beforehand and involves long waiting hours. In contrast, here the client finds himself in a quite natural way right in front of the bank’s counter and can easily profit from the full spectrum of our services ranging from account opening, deposits, loans, and credit cards. I repeat that the project just started, but if everything goes well its prospects are excellent. “Rigla” disposes of a large network across the country with points of sale in top locations.

In addition, also in collaboration with “Rigla”, we have started to implement a joint loyalty programme. If the interest payments from Bank Zapadny’s deposits are spent in a “Rigla” pharmacy, the client receives a 20% discount on the pharmacy’s products. In reality, to get such a discount is impossible, as medicine prices are regulated by the state, but here the costs are borne by us. We offer a similar product for credit cards.

 — Why did you choose a pharmacy chain as your strategic partner? Is it to enhance your visibility?

— This is not a coincidence. A person visiting a pharmacy is psychologically speaking in the ideal state of mind for us. It is a perfect place to combine physical and financial health, implying a certain concern about one’s condition and a strong resolution to enhance or at least to conserve it. We were offered a partnership with the chain of coffee houses “Shokoladnitsa”, but refused in light of the coffee-house’s connotation of relaxation and socializing. Our banking products need focused customers.

In general, I feel that the pharmacy’s customers will appreciate to have an open window into the banking world, and that people may grow used to it.

  • In addition to these unconventional plans, you are systematically opening new conventional branches. More than 15 branches were opened since 2011. Can you tell us more about this rather aggressive growth strategy?

— I don’t think our strategy is aggressive. Rather, it is a survival strategy. We have simply understood that our development in the Russian regions is a top priority.

Our experience has shown that the default rate on loans in the regions is by far lower than in the capital. In a small town everybody knows everybody. And the local security officer is most likely an ex-chief of police who knows his way around. In such an environment it becomes very difficult for creditors not to service their debt, or not to return their loans, because of the negative publicity it immediately creates in the neighbourhood.

Moscow is different. When we launch a new lending product in the capital we immediately get hundreds of suspicious applications coming from fraudsters who are testing whether there is a weak spot in our scoring or underwriting processes. Today such fraudsters dispose of very sophisticated mechanisms. Normal clients only materialize in a second phase. In the periphery, however, this pattern is significantly shorter – if not fully absent.

  • You have increased your capital. With what?

— With revenues, in addition to the issue of new shares.

  • Did the current shareholders repurchase these shares?

— Yes.

  • You have also issued bonds. Who are their buyers and what is their yield?

— We have a good idea of who the potential bond buyers may be, as we have a well-known underwriter. Even if the market is not purchasing our bonds, our underwriter and partners have committed to purchase them. The funds raised will flow into our pipeline products, but it is still too early to speak about yields.

  • In September you surprised observers with having Bank Zapadny audited by KPMG. When I recently checked who audited Bank Moscow – a publicly listed company – it turned out it was no one from the Big Four. This begs the question why you hired such an expensive auditor. Is this only linked to the bond issue or are there deeper reasons?

— You are right in noticing that this was an expensive audit, in particular for a bank of our size. The reason is simply that we already today strive to comply with tomorrow’s standards. At the end of the process, auditors usually recommend what needs to be changed or improved. We listen carefully to this advice. If we want to go public – and going public is the epiphany of every business – the right asset structure is of key importance. If a globally recognized auditor acknowledges our structure, this already means an 80% rate of success. We recently visited the London Stock Exchange and were told that a public listing is possible without a credit rating, but it is not possible without an international audit. Investors think the same way. This is why we believe that having a good auditor will provide us useful guidance and help us avoid mistakes going forward. In short, a KPMG audit is an investment into the future.

 — An IPO is a long-term goal. What about the short term? Are you planning to attract investors?

— Certainly, but let us first ask: with what objective do we wish to attract investors? We want to become a model bank with an absolutely transparent business and a clear focus on improving processes in line with international standards. This must be the objective – and not the dissolution of our shares through a financial investor. This is why we are only interested in attracting an investor such as, for example, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Put differently, we are looking for a partner ready to share his know-how, expertise, and experience, and guide us by best practices and model behavior – not unlike an older brother. This must be the objective. With such an investor on our side we will walk gently into the future.

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