Evli bank takes on Russian market

In an announcement made last week, Evli Bank in Finland said that it would be buying a significant stake into Avanko, a corporate financing firm, and looking to expand the company’s operations in Russia.

According to Reuters, Evli has promised to buy 49.9 per cent of Avanko. The bank expects that mid-sized companies in Russia may soon start looking to list on the Nordic stock exchange, in which case, Avanko would be well placed to expand into the Russian market.

Avanko is a Finnish bank with branches in both St. Petersburg and Moscow and currently employs 24 people.

“Listing in the OMX will be a good alternative for Russian mid-market companies,” Avanko managing director Grigory Dudarev said. “Some have listed on the [London Stock Exchange’s] AIM list, and OMX is closer.”

Maunu Lehtimaki, Evli’s CEO, explained, “An ever-increasing share of our clients plan on expanding to Russia.”

Evli is a private investment bank which was founded in 1985 and serves Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. In 2006, the bank’s revenue was €55.8 million.