The shares of State Development Corp. VEB.RF's Ukrainian unit PSC Prominvestbank, equivalent to a 99.77% stake in the lender, have been put up for sale again, with an auction slated for Feb. 11, news outlet Censor.net reported Jan. 13.
This is the third attempt to sell the Ukrainian bank. Previous auctions were declared invalid due to the lack of bidders. Ukrainian media outlets earlier reported the shares were put up for sale by companies associated with Ukrainian businessman Ihor Kolomoisky as part of legal proceedings to receive compensation for assets Russia seized during the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
In September 2019, the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce prohibited the sale of Prominvestbank shares at the request of Russia-owned VEB, but a Ukrainian appellate court refused in December to execute the Institute's decision and ban the sale.
The new auction will take place on Ukraine's PFTS Stock Exchange. The starting price for the stake was set at 266.05 million hryvnia, half the amount in the first auction in August 2019.
Meanwhile, Prominvestbank plans to hold a meeting of shareholders Feb. 6, during which they will consider a decision to terminate its banking activities without losing the status of a legal entity, Censor.net reported. Prominvestbank stopped servicing retail client accounts and closed all branches in 2019, leaving only one in Kiev.
As of Jan. 13, US$1 was equivalent to 24.17 Ukrainian hryvnia.