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Belarusian investor drops plans to purchase Sberbank Ukraine

Belarusian investor Viktor Prokopenya decided to withdraw from the National Bank of Ukraine his request for permission to acquire the Ukrainian unit of PAO Sberbank of Russia.

Prokopenya's investment company, VP Capital, said Aug. 3 that it dropped the purchase of PJSC Sberbank to focus on other projects and investments. The firm added, however, that it continues to believe that the purchase of Sberbank of Russia's business in Ukraine constitutes "an excellent investment opportunity."

Russian and Ukrainian media outlets reported recently that Prokopenya wanted to purchase Sberbank Ukraine via Belarus-based lender OJSC Paritetbank, which he is acquiring from local authorities.

Sberbank of Russia initially agreed to sell the Ukrainian unit in March to investors Said Gutseriev and Grigory Guselnikov, who were supposed to purchase it via a Belarusian company and Latvia-based JSC Norvik Banka However, the Ukrainian central bank refused to approve the sale in July, saying the buyers did not provide sufficient documentation that would allow the regulator to verify them.

VP Capital noted in its statement that its request for permission to purchase Sberbank Ukraine was not connected in any way with that filed by Gutseriev and Guselnikov.