It has become known today that Mr Melikyan, former deputy chairman of the Russian Central Bank in charge of bank supervision, will most probably form part of the VneshTorgBank (VTB) supervisory board. At first glance, this is a second-rate piece of news; yet, it explains a lot of things in the case of the Bank of Moscow. Continue reading
The Segezha Pulp and Paper Plant, one of the largest plants in Russia, forming part of the InvestLesProm Holding Company, is discontinuing operation as of 1 February. The Plant is the principal major employer in the Karelian town, and its closure means that most of Segezha’s residents are going to be unemployed, at least temporarily. Moreover, if the situation exacerbates, that may result in heating interruptions, including in residential buildings, because heating is also provided by the boiler house of the same Pulp and Paper Plant. This is not only about a social problem but about the people’s survival. Continue reading
Neither my lawyers nor I have been told that an international arrest warrant has been issued against me in Russia. If an international arrest warrant has been issued now, eight months after I was removed from the Bank of Moscow, it is not because of the urgency of that investigation, in respect of which I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of. It is hardly a coincidence that this step should reportedly be taken immediately after my public statement that the takeover of Bank of Moscow was politically motivated and who was involved in achieving that.
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. Continue reading
The so-called Bank of Moscow development strategy, which was made public yesterday, demonstrates yet again that when the ‘effective managers’ from VTB took over our bank they did not have the slightest understanding of why they might need this asset. This means that behind these actions was a political decision to gain control over Bank of Moscow as well as a desire of certain individuals to make a profit out of this. Continue reading
Calculacio, a company that was named by VTB as one of the “bad” debtors of Bank of Moscow, today has fully repaid its debt to the bank. The company paid 341 million US dollars and 42 million euros; this covers all obligations to its former lender.
Bank of Moscow Case Sees New Development: Hostage-Taking.
Yesterday the Investigative Committee moved the court to arrest a number of individuals (details needed as media differ on who has been arrested) who have cooperated with Bank of Moscow. While the Tverskoi court has not caved in to the investigators and has set bail, the situation has taken a very sinister turn.
The investigators have sought the arrest of – and until bail is posted they will remain behind bars – completely innocent people. It was done despite numerous statements by the government leaders about the need to avoid applying such restraint measure to suspects in economic crimes. Continue reading
I must go on record in response to recent allegations of ‘criminal acts’ of which I am accused within Russian media. Again citing unnamed sources in the Interior Ministry of Russian Federation the reports purport to suggest that the Investigatory Department, which is apparently leading a preliminary investigation in to my actions while CEO of the Bank of Moscow is supposed to have alleged “virtually all loans were issued to Cyprus offshore companies,” and “instead of $63 million, which were present in the case earlier”, I and my colleagues, “may be (?) charged with the illegal issue of unsecured loans for more than $6 billion” (Kommersant, 29.08.2011). Continue reading
Recent reports in the Russian media, in particular on the state TV channel First Channel, about the so-called problems in Bank of Moscow came as no surprise to me. We should wonder why these allegations are being repeated and why new threats are being made at this time. In my view the answer is simple: my legal team in Moscow recently has been persistently asking difficult questions about the missing funds apparently paid by VTB to the City of Moscow for the City’s 46.5% stake in Bank of Moscow. These are difficult questions for the Government to answer and rather than answer them maybe someone wants to distract the attention of the citizens of Russia from the fact that the funds have not appeared in the City’s accounts by making new unfounded allegations about the former management of Bank of Moscow. Continue reading
A few weeks ago I said how surprised I was at the suggestion that VTB would require any state aid because of its acquisition of a stake in Bank of Moscow. Now I am, like everyone else, shocked at the size of the $14 billion bailout that the Central Bank has just announced.
I would remind you that, during my management, Bank of Moscow was, from 2007, one of only a handful of banks in Russia with an investment grade rating and hand leading international banks such as Goldman Sachs, JP MorganChase and Credit Suisse among its shareholders.
My statement issued earlier this week said that numerous facts in the hostile takeover of Bank of Moscow by VTB lead to the conclusion that the principle motivation behind the change of control of Bank of Moscow was political. This latest announcement by the Central Bank that it will provide financial aid to VTB to help deal with alleged and non disclosed problem loans at Bank of Moscow only further supports this conclusion.