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Appeals court rules against Baring Vostok in Orient Express Bank dispute

A Russian appellate arbitration court dismissed the appeal of Baring Vostok Capital Partners Ltd.'s unit Evison Holdings against an earlier court order to carry out the immediate transfer of a 9.99% stake in Public Stock Co. Orient Express Bank to the lender's other shareholder, Artem Avetisyan, RBC reported Aug. 14.

Evison transferred the stake in June and received 750 million Russian rubles for the shares from Finvision Holdings, through which Avetisyan owns his stake in the bank, RBC noted. After the transfer of the shares, Baring Vostok lost control of Orient Express, and the bank is now controlled by Avetisyan and his business partners.

Baring Vostok and Avetisyan have been involved in a corporate battle over the control of Orient Express Bank for a while, with the dispute resulting in the February arrest of Baring Vostok founder Michael Calvey and several other executives over the alleged embezzlement of 2.5 billion Russian rubles from the bank. Calvey, who denies any wrongdoing, was released from pretrial detention in April and is currently under house arrest.

On Aug. 15, a Russian court released from jail French investor and Baring Vostok partner Philippe Delpal, who was detained together with Calvey, and also placed him under house arrest, Vedomosti noted.

As of Aug. 14, US$1 was equivalent to 65.95 Russian rubles.