I was incensed to learn about the monstrous verdict of a Russian court on two former employees of Bank of Moscow, Alla Averina and Konstantin Salnikov. That these people were found guilty of charges against them and that they were given real prison terms is another example of blatant abuse of justice and common sense that prevails in Russian legal system. I am convinced that both the investigators and the court are well aware of the political undercurrent in the case against Averina and Salnikov. Nevertheless within this drummed up case they were first sent to court as the accused, and then they have been put behind bars. Continue reading
The story of the head of AFK Sistema is indicative of the modern Russia. No one’s property is protected from taking, even if you regularly meet with the leaders of the state. After the Yukos case, such things surprise no one. It is much more interesting to try and figure out what has led to such a development. Continue reading
Comment by Andrey Borodin: Yet another testimony of that the most outspoken corruption fighters from among civil servants can often themselves stand at the top of corruptionist ratings.
Charitable funds connected with fellow students and relatives of Dmitry Medvedev are investing billions of roubles in development projects.
Many of us go in for collection – and the object of collection depends on the person’s resources. Even if one has no money at all, he can collect match boxes or beer lids. With greater resources, one can concentrate on antiques, works of art, or old automobiles. But only superstars may allow themselves to collect dachas. In the West, they are sports or show-biz stars, and in our country they are also politicians. Continue reading
The former head of the Bank of Moscow calls the charges of misappropriation of a billion roubles “a new fabrication of the investigators.”
The Russian Interior Ministry Investigation Department has brought new charges against the former top management of the Bank of Moscow. The former bank president Andrey Borodin, first vice president Dmitry Akulinin and vice president Alexei Sytnikov are charged with misappropriation and embezzlement of more than 1 billion roubles. In the theory of the investigators, from 2008 until 2010, a group of the bank’s top managers and employees organized by Borodin was practicing “misappropriation of entrusted funds through fictitious contracts for purchase and sale of foreign currency and illegally obtaining the difference between the rates in roubles”.
The first case against Borodin and Akulinin was opened in late 2010 – the bankers were accused of fraud with funds from the municipal budget in the amount of 12.76 billion roubles. Borodin and Akulinin were internationally wanted, but the United Kingdom gave Borodin political asylum (The Russian Interior Ministry claims that the same happened to Akulinin). In an interview with Forbes, Borodin spoke about why he considers the charge an invention of the investigators, what he did at the secret lunch of the Russian sponsors of the Conservative Party and what he thinks about possible extradition to Russia. Continue reading
Commentary by Andrey Borodin: VTB people and all sorts of officials in Russia have on many occasions stated that the security on the loan to Premier Estate (which set off a series of criminal cases in the process of a raider takeover of the Bank of Moscow) fails to cover the loan (about 13 billion rubles) and is almost worthless. Now, the current cadastre evaluation of the pledged land says that it is worth some 27 billion roubles, i. e. more than twice covers the company’s debt. Continue reading
Commentary by Andrey Borodin: This is a curious confession by the general prosecutor of the Russian Federation. If he is citing such information, then the problem is too obvious and the real scale of the disaster may be greater by a factor of 10.
More than 4,600 persons have been unlawfully detained or arrested in Russia over the past three years. The RIA Novosti news agency reports on 12 February that the information has been provided by general prosecutor Yuri Chaika. “People have been in detention for years,” the head of the overseeing department said. Continue reading
A comment by Andrei Borodin: That is how personal ambitions of a “banker of the decade” eat up shareholders’ funds. This is not the first case and obviously not the last.
VTB Capital’s international business may be earning five times less than what the shareholder is expecting. This may lead to a reduction in force and abandonment of low-income operations.
The expenditures of VTB Capital International have grown to 95 per cent of proceeds, which requires a reduction of business areas and personnel, Atanas Bostanjiyev, a department head, informed Yuri Solovyov, VTB first deputy chairman and VTB Capital board chairman, in a memo of 15 November, Bloomberg reports citing the memo. Mr Bostanjiyev, general director of VTB Capital plc., manages international business, a VTB officer says. According to data found on the VTB Capital website, the company has offices in London, Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, Sofia, Kiev, New York, Paris and Vienna. Continue reading
Cross-border policing can be political
Four years ago this week the whistle-blowing accountant Sergei Magnitsky died in jail from beatings and abuse, having uncovered a $230m fraud against the Russian state. His client Bill Browder, a London-based financier, has been campaigning to punish those responsible with visa bans and asset freezes. But the Russian authorities have retaliated and are trying to extradite him on fraud charges, using Interpol, the world police co-operation body. Continue reading
A.T.: Mr Borodin, why were Eesti Krediidipank (EKP) blocks of shares sold to Firmex and Genovia? Who made the decision and why?
A.B.: The Bank of Moscow sold EKP shares and got what was good money at that time for them. The price was 1.15 of the book value. In 2011 that was a very good coefficient for a bank. Most banks traded at a discount from their book value back then. Some banks, including major Russian banks, were in such a situation even later. And Kostin (BM board chairman – Editor) was aware of the transaction. In a conversation with me before that, he clearly said that they did not need that bank (EKP) and that it was to be sold. That was the commercial sense, a normal and healthy one. Continue reading