Today, certain media have disseminated information provided by investigative authorities that the latter intend, while interviewing Yuri Luzhkov, to find out the circumstances in which the Moscow Government purchased additional Bank of Moscow shares issued in 2009 and worth approximately RUR 15 billion. In the meantime, specific efforts are being made to create a negative public perception of this information by artificially placing it in a criminal context.
As head of the Bank of Moscow at the time, I find it necessary to provide a clarification on this subject. It will be recalled that the year 2008 witnessed a global financial crisis when, due to objective circumstances, the equity of Russian and international banks significantly declined, whereas opportunities for raising capital largely evaporated. Lending institutions suffered from lack of liquidity. Thus, the steps taken by the bank’s shareholders to increase its capital via an additional share issue buyout appear reasonable and sound.
I would like to add that, in that same year, the Russian Government allocated roughly RUR 1,000 for similar purposes, 90% of which was gobbled up by the four largest partially State-owned banks. During the crisis-ridden 2008, the Government handed over to VTB almost RUR 400 million for capital increase and liquidity build-up. Does it mean that the law-enforcement authorities will also be putting questions to that lending institution and to individuals who made the decisions to allocate funds?