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Report: Orient Express Bank fulfills regulatory order to boost provisions

Public Stock Co. Orient Express Bank, whose shareholders have been embroiled in a corporate conflict over control of the lender, fulfilled the Russian central bank's request to increase loan loss provisions by 5.8 billion rubles, RBC reported Dec. 18, citing two sources at the lender.

The central bank ordered Orient Express to boost the provisions after completing an in-depth inspection in October. Artem Avetisyan, Orient Express Bank's key shareholder and board of directors head, confirmed the lender had fulfilled the central bank's post-inspection orders but refused to provide further details.

Avetisyan and Orient Express Bank's other key shareholder, Baring Vostok Capital Partners Ltd., have been involved in a corporate battle over the control of the bank, with the dispute resulting in the February arrest of Baring Vostok founder Michael Calvey and several other executives over the alleged embezzlement of 2.5 billion rubles from the bank. Calvey, who denies any wrongdoing, was released from pretrial detention in April and is currently under house arrest.

Avetisyan told RBC he is ready to reach an amicable settlement with regard to the dispute with Baring Vostok, but noted that the parties are not involved in any negotiations at the moment to solve the conflict.

As of Dec. 18, US$1 was equivalent to 62.66 Russian rubles.