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Russian central bank takes ownership of B&N Bank, boosting capital

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Russian central bank takes ownership of B&N Bank, boosting capital

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation has become the main shareholder at B&N Bank owning 99.9% of its shares, the lender said March 21.

B&N Bank, bailed out by the regulator in September 2017 together with unit JSC Rost Bank, also said its total regulatory capital now exceeds 100 billion Russian rubles, a level that allows it to comply comfortably with regulatory capital ratios.

The central bank approved a 56.9 billion ruble recapitalization of the lender earlier in March. In addition, Rost Bank fully repaid interbank loans obtained from the lender, which allowed B&N to disburse provisions held against the loans, also positively affecting the capital position, the lender noted.

News agency RBK said earlier in March that Rost Bank owed B&N Bank 700 billion rubles, and that the funds for the repayment of the loans were most likely provided by the central bank.

The regulator plans to merge B&N Bank with Otkritie Financial Corp. Bank, also bailed out in 2017. Reuters recently reported that the central bank also wants to inject over 1 trillion rubles into Rost and Otkritie unit National Bank Trust PJSC as part of merging them into a single unit holding bad loans from the two lenders.

As of March 20, US$1 was equivalent to 57.53 Russian rubles.