UniCredit Leasing has been forced to put
its expansion plans in Russia on hold because of the economic
turmoil, despite having seen year-on-year growth in the
country.

“We are planning on opening three or four additional branches
next year and doubling our staff,” explained UniCredit Leasing’s
Manuela Pahoinig, head of sales, CEE markets, “but we are now
waiting for the economic situation to stabilise before going
further.”

BNP Paribas Lease Group has also put its Russian operations on
hold because of economic factors. According to Thierry
Veillet-Lavalée, head of leasing in the CEE region, BPLG has been
looking at Russia for the past two years, but the company has
“frozen” all Russian projects.

“I do hope it will be for a short time only because I would
really like us to have a presence in Russia by winter. We just need
to work out the finer legal and institutional details,” explained
Veillet-Lavalée.

UniCredit Leasing has been active in Russia since 1999, and has
72 staff working between its Moscow headquarters and St Petersburg
office.

Jason T Hesse