Owners of the collapsed lender Binbank are transferring assets worth around RUB70bn ($1.2bn) to the Central Bank of Russia (CBR), partly to cover a hole in the bank's finances, Vedomosti reported on October 30. The hole in Binbank's accounts is estimated to be between RUB250bn and RUB350bn, the CBR said. The assets include office and warehouse spaces, construction sites and department stores. Earlier, Binbank's main shareholder, Mikail Shishkhanov, said he could transfer the developers Inteko and A101 to the CBR.
Binbank is the second major Russian lender to be rescued by the CBR. The regulator started work on cleaning up Binbank on September 21, also providing the lender with loans of an undisclosed amount. In August, another major Russian lender, Financial Corporation Otkritie, went bust, and is currently being rescued by the CBR alongside Binbank.
The CBR explained its decision to rescue Binbank and Otkritie as opposed to Jugra Bank, whose licence was revoked earlier this year, by the fact that Binbank was "a system forming lender", CBR's first deputy head Dmitry Tulin said in a letter to Anatoly Aksakov, head of the State Duma's financial markets committee, quoted by Vedomosti on October 30. If the CBR had revoked the licences of Otkritie and Binbank, it would have had negative consequences for the economy, undermining the population's trust in the banking sector, Tulin added.
As part of the rescue scheme, the CBR is expected to take over a 75% share in Binbank, leaving the remaining 25% with Shishkhanov and his relatives including his oligarch uncle Mikhail Gutseriyev.
Both Otkritie and Binbank belong to the so-called Garden Ring banks, the leading commercial banks that have been included on the CBR’s “strategically important banks” list.
The Garden Ring banks have all come under increased pressure since the spring as the CBR tightened its supervision of the sector. Problems first surfaced in June when Russia’s new domestic ratings agency Analytical Credit Rating Agency (ACRA) downgraded Otkritie to BBB, which precluded it from holding state money, like pension funds.
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