Ex-owners of Ukraine's PrivatBank fail to restructure loan portfolio, central bank says

Ex-owners of Ukraine's PrivatBank fail to restructure loan portfolio, central bank says
By Sergei Kuznetsov in Kyiv May 15, 2017

Former owners of Ukraine's biggest state lender PrivatBank, which was nationalised in December, Ihor Kolomoisky and Hennady Bogolyubov, failed to demonstrate progress in the fulfillment of its obligations to restructure the bank’s corporate credit portfolio, according to the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU)'s governor Valeriya Gontareva.

In May, the supervisory board of PrivatBank selected a consortium of companies consisting of Rothschild, EY and FinPoint with the aim of restructuring and returning loans issued to affiliated related parties by previous owners. 

The two oligarch businessmen have committed to carrying out a restructuring programme by the middle of 2017. If Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov are able to successfully restructure 75% of the portfolio, the NBU will consider the possibility of extending the restructuring for the remaining 25% until late 2017, NBU officials told bne IntelliNews.

"At present nothing has been done. We have time until the end of June. I do not think that such a portfolio can be restructured in such a time, but there is still time," Gontareva said in an interview with Interfax news agency. "I think that in summer [2016] it was already obvious that no one would do anything: they once again signed everything, undertook obligations and went on to restructure the portfolio, and finally they did nothing."

In December, the government announced the nationalisation of PrivatBank after it had failed to fulfill a three-year recapitalisation plan. The bank was found to have a UAH148bn (€5.1bn) hole in its balance sheet as of early December, which at the time was said to be almost entirely due to related party financing.

On April 10, the Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), Valeriya Gontareva, told journalists that the post-nationalisation audit of the bank established that not 97% but 100% of the corporate portfolio was issued to related parties. Privatbank's owners have always denied any wrongdoing.

To cover the capital shortfall, the Ukrainian government injected capital of UAH117bn (€4.1bn) and bailed-in PrivatBank's non-deposit unsecured creditors for the amount of UAH29.4bn ($1.1bn), including bondholders for the amount of $595mn.

Earlier, Gontareva, accused Kolomoisky and Boholyubov, of effecting more than UAH16bn (€561mn) in fraudulent transactions on the night before the bank was transferred to state hands.

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