Russia's state-owned Vnesheconombank (VEB), which operates troubled Ukrainian subsidiary Prominvestbank, has started legal procedures to leave the Ukrainian market, as two Ukrainian citizens have submitted documents to the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) to obtain its approval for the acquisition of the lender's stake.
The move followed the decision of Russia's largest bank Sberbank to sell its subsidiary in Ukraine to a consortium of investors that includes Norvik Bank and a private Belarusian company. Russian banks are seeking to sell their Ukrainian businesses amid further deterioration of relations between the two countries. Ukraine has imposed sanctions on Sberbank and four other state-owned Russian banks operating in the country and there have been alleged acts of vandalism on Russian banks in the country.
"The documents have been registered and are under consideration. After considering the documents, the public will receive advance notice," the NBU's press service told Interfax news agency without elaborating on the names of the Ukrainian citizens concerned or details of the stake in Prominvestbank they want to acquire.
The central bank has three months to consider the documents. The NBU is responsible for checking that the business reputations of the investors meets the requirements outlined in the regulator's legal acts.
Prominvestbank is the 11th largest Ukrainian bank ranked by assets (among 93 operating banks as of December 31). Russia's VEB controls a 99.7% stake in the lender.
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