Auchan Group's banking unit and Dutch Credit Europe Group have embarked on establishing a joint bank in Russia to expand their presence and provide a broader range of services to corporate clients, which include retail chains Auchan and Leroy Merlin, the companies said in a statement Monday.
The partners have filed a petition with regulators to register the joint venture, which is scheduled to start work next year, said the statement published on the website of Credit Europe Group's Russian subsidiary, Credit Europe Bank.
Credit Europe Group, which has been present in Russia since 1997, and Oney Banque Accord, owned by Auchan Group "made a decision in line with the long-term goals to strengthen their position in the market and expand the partnership by creating a joint bank in Russia," the statement said.
The new bank's equity capital will amount to 345 million rubles ($11.5 million), Credit Europe Bank's president Haluk Aydinoglu told Kommersant.
Auchan Group will control the joint venture, Kommersant reported Monday, citing a source close to the French company.
In another example of a foreign investor not traditionally involved in finance seeking to enter Russia's banking sector, carmaking alliance Renault-Nissan intends to partner with Unicredit Group — which is present in the country through its subsidiary Unicredit Bank — to set up a local joint venture, according to the report.
Renault-Nissan's banking unit and one of Unicredit Group's subsidiaries — but not the Russian one — will own 60 percent and 40 percent of the joint venture, respectively, said the report, citing an unidentified source close to Unicredit Bank.