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Report: Russia's 'bad bank' plans takeover of Baltic Leasing

Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service authorized National Bank Trust PJSC, which is being transformed by the Russian central bank into an entity holding bad assets of recently bailed-out lenders, to take over a 99.95% stake in Baltic Leasing OJSC, Vedomosti reported Aug. 13.

The 99.95% stake belongs to AO Interservice, which owns 79.5% of Baltic Leasing, and to Otkritie Holding JSC, which has an almost 20% stake. Interservice is owned by Russian businessman Vadim Belyaev, who is also a shareholder of Otkritie Holding.

An Otkritie Holding representative told the newspaper that negotiations are ongoing with the potential new owner and that Baltic Leasing "can be sold only at its market price."

Otkritie Holding was the owner of National Bank Trust and its parent, Otkritie Financial Corp. Bank, before the lenders' bailout in 2017. Vasily Pozdyshev, deputy central bank head, said in July that the holding company owes 335 billion Russian rubles to the bailed-out lenders, and that the central bank could launch bankruptcy proceedings if the debt is not repaid.

National Bank Trust management board head Alexander Sokolov recently told the newspaper that the bank was in talks with Belyaev regarding the transfer of assets to pay off some of Otkritie Holding's debts. Baltic Leasing is Russia's ninth-largest leasing company, according to local credit rating agency Expert RA, with the value of its leasing portfolio amounting to 41.1 billion rubles at the end of 2017, Vedomosti noted.

As of Aug. 13, US$1 was equivalent to 67.84 Russian rubles.