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Russian regulator launches sale of Asian-Pacific Bank

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation has decided to put up for sale PJSC Asian-Pacific Bank, which it took over after the lender's 2018 bailout.

An open electronic Dutch auction for the regulator's almost 100% stake in Asian-Pacific Bank will be held March 14, 2019. The starting price has been set at 9.86 billion Russian rubles, and the minimum price that the central bank is willing to accept amounts to 6 billion rubles. Applications to participate in the auction will be accepted between Feb. 18 and March 4.

Three potential buyers, including a foreign investor, expressed their written interest in acquiring Asian-Pacific Bank, while some investors also showed interest in the lender informally, Kommersant reported Dec. 18, citing the central bank's deputy head Vasily Pozdyshev.

According to sources cited by Kommersant, potential buyers include China-based Heihe Rural Commercial Bank Co. Ltd., PJSC Sovcombank, PAO Credit Bank of Moscow, OOO Home Credit and Finance Bank and Czech lender J&T BANKA a.s., while Reuters also mentioned Expobank LLC as a potential bidder at the upcoming auction.

As of Dec. 17, US$1 was equivalent to 66.66 Russian rubles.