To date, as reported by "Vedomosti", some top managers of the main regulator of the country - the Central Bank of Russia - are seriously discussing the possibility of re-restructuring the unsecured loan at 11 billion rubles for their debtor - AMT bank. Interestingly, during the years of its existence the bank has changed its name four times like if hiding from someone: it was "Astana", then Slavinvestbank, BTA, and now the AMT.
However, despite the new name, its key owner (according to official information of the bank) has been the same all the time. This is the former head of the Moscow BTA Bank - Mukhtar Ablyazov, the one who is wanted at home, in Kazakhstan, and on remand - in Russia. The latest scandal erupted around his name happened just a few days ago, when the Investigation Committee of the MIA detained the top management of the development company "Eurasia Logistics" associated with the Kazakh banker and charges of counterfeiting the securities and fraud. As Kommersant explained, Ablyazov "instructed his subordinates to exchange part of the loan portfolio of the Kazakh BTA-Bank to bad loans issued earlier the by the eponymous OOO «BTA Bank", working in Moscow.
But the main thing is neither in the name of the key shareholder, targeted in the case as the organizer of those crimes, nor in the name of the Chairman of the Board Helen Messerle; as reported in "Komsomolskaya Pravda", she was questioned by the Investigative Committee at the MIA after the fall searches in BTA bank last year. The main thing is the bank owes all the earlier debts despite the name change, they have not gone away. AMT bank owes a gigantic amount to the Russia's Central Bank - about 11 billion rubles. (Once in July 2009, the Central Bank already rolled over the bank loan for 12.427 bil. The decision was controversial. It is no mere chance that by the end of the year, according to RBC-daily, the Department Director of operations in the financial markets of the Central Bank Sergey Shvetsov proposed to First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Alexey Ulyukaev to include this 12-billion debt of BTA Bank in the category of "bad quality») . Then the "heavy" debt had been prolonged until April 2010. "Some experts believe, "Komsomolskaya Pravda " writes, that such a condescending attitude to the debtor may be caused by the view on the situation of first deputy chairman in the Central Bank Gennady Melikyan.
However, despite such a tolerance, by the mid of March, BTA Bank (before it was renamed to the AMT), a Russian edition of Forbes magazine lowered its position to a conservative estimate at the level of "CCC".
Meanwhile, the Central Bank is not just demonstrating patience towards the billion-debtor. In March, some amendments to the statement "On granting name lending by the Bank of Russia to Russian credit organizations» were produced in its interiors. The draft amendment covers that in conducting auctions for the provision of unsecured loans the Central Bank intends to meet the non-competitive applications of banks, if competitive bids from the banks do not appear.
According to the vice-president of the company “FBK” on banking audit Alexei Terekhov, the special conditions, which the Central Bank provides for the extension of credits to BTA Bank and Petroff-Bank, might be regarded as a plan of reorganization of the lending institutions. By the way, at one time the newspaper "RBC daily» assumed that the regulator could allow the then BTA Bank to raise funds from investors and at their expense extinguish the unsecured loan. And if the BTA is not able to return the money, that will be not the the Central Bank, but to investors. However, they also would not be hurt , as the debt will be repaid by the Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA). Thus commercial bank's debt to the CB may be reimbursed through state funds.
Source: Nezavisimaya Gazeta "on 01.04.2010