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35

Alfa-Bank Can Save Russian Banks

Alpha-Bank possesses enough resources to purchase either entire banks or their assets, says its president Pyotr Aven

"The Government is interested in assisting Alpha-Bank because otherwise the state will have to cover the debts of bankrupt banks,” said Olga Belenkaya, deputy head of Sovlink Company’s analytical department.

Besides its own resources, Alfa-Bank aspires to Vneshekonombank's long-term loan of $400 million.

Thus, with help from the Central Bank, Alfa Bank could be in a position to bail out Russian banks in danger of bankruptcy.

During the crisis-related summit Friday President of Alfa-Bank said the crisis would not be catastrophic for Russia, especially since mortgages are only 3 percent of the country's gross domestic product. Still, Aven said, the Russian real estate sector would experience a significant downturn following three years of ballooning property prices.

Both Aven and Arkady Dvorkovich, an economic adviser to President Dmitry Medvedev, spoke favorably about a potential consolidation of the Russian banking sector, but speaking after Aven Dvorkovich said the government would still do everything to ensure each bank got a chance to survive.

Author: Ksenia Kochneva