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Report: VTB launches lawsuit in UK against Mozambique, state-owned asset manager

Russia-based VTB Bank PJSC filed a lawsuit against a state-owned Mozambican company that it lent $535 million to as part of a project that became embroiled in a $2 billion corruption scandal, Reuters reported, citing documents filed with the U.K.'s High Court.

The documents name the state of Mozambique and state-owned Mozambique Asset Management as defendants and only outlines that the case centers on "general commercial contracts and arrangement" without elaborating further, the report said. The filing does not explicitly state whether the case is related to the loan — which the African country and the Russian bank had been trying to restructure, Reuters added.

In October 2019, the deputy head of the legal department at VTB Capital said the Mozambique Asset Management loan represented a "significant exposure" and that it expected the credit to be paid back, according to the report.

The Mozambique scandal has already sparked probes by U.S. prosecutors, Swiss regulators and South African regulators on Credit Suisse Group AG, its three former bankers and Mozambique's former Finance Minister Manuel Chang over alleged fraud and money laundering connected to Mozambique's hidden loans scandal. Mozambique borrowed the money from international investors in 2013 — when Chang was finance minister — to finance maritime projects.

VTB and Credit Suisse provided or arranged approximately $2 billion for the project, according to the newswire.