VTB Bank, Russia's second-largest lender by assets, is hoping to lure oil traders from embattled commodities trader Noble Group as part of a broader push in the region, people familiar with the matter told CNBC.
Noble Group has been at the sharp end of the commodity price collapse and has faced questions over its accounting and a sinking share price. The company's credit rating has been cut to junk amid concerns over its debt pile.
While shares of Singapore-listed Noble jumped on Monday after it said it will sell its U.S. energy unit to Calpine for $800 million plus working capital, they are still down 32 per cent this year.
"Noble guys in general are disgruntled," said a Singapore-based analyst familiar with the company. "Talent is being poached understandably because of the state of the stock price and bonuses are paid out in stock options."
In an e-mailed statement to CNBC, VTB Capital, the investment-banking arm of VTB, said it is "developing its global commodities business in line with our strategy and the company's overall plans to further strengthen its global reach."
It added: "Asia is one of the priority regions for us, so we are looking to expand our commodities business there in 2017 and strengthen our local team." VTB stopped short of saying whether it was in talks with Noble traders.
Noble Group said it doesn't comment on personnel matters.