Courts Orders Arrest Of KreditPromBank Assets And Accounts To Prevent Artificial Bankruptcy

KIEV, Ukraine -- Based on a petition to the court from "Praktyka" Asset Management Company, which represents American, European and Ukrainian investors, the Kiev City Commercial Court on 10 July 2013 ordered the arrest of KreditPromBank's assets and accounts worth UAH 217 million ($27 million).

NBU's Ihor Sorkin

The Ministry of Justice Division of State Executive Service in the Kiev City Pechersk District began executing the court order on 16 July 2013.

At issue is a venture fund called "Kyivschyna 1," created in 2010 and valued at UAH 217 million ($27 million), which attracted investors from the US, Europe and Ukraine.

Investment fund managers opened the "Kyivschyna 1" deposit account with KreditPromBank and viewed it as a secure vehicle for investing into the Ukrainian economy.

At that time KreditPromBank's shareholders included several western banks, investment funds representing agricultural giant Cargill and international financial institutions such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and, was considered a trusted banking institution.

Investors in the venture fund were paid their interest for almost three years until KreditPromBank was sold in March 2013 to Mr. Mykola Lagun.

Once the KreditPromBank sale to Lagun was finalized, interest payments stopped. 

Investors were called into meetings with Delta Bank top managers, among them owner of both banks Mykola Lagun and Delta Bank's First Deputy Chairman Vitaly Masiura, who offered investors 20% of the value invested in the "Kyivschyna" venture fund.

As a form of pressure, investors were told that if they refused the offer they would receive nothing from their deposit.

Meanwhile, after Lagun's purchase of KreditPromBank, the latter's management was replaced by top managers of Delta Bank, who concurrently worked in both banks steadily depleting the assets and accounts of KreditPromBank and transferred them to Delta Bank in violation of Ukrainian laws and bank regulations.

Essentially, bank managers were raising the risk of KreditPromBank's artificial bankruptcy.

Investors appealed to the National Bank of Ukraine to act in accordance with Ukrainian laws and NBU regulations, which require that NBU appoint a bank administrator to protect investors and depositors from any potential wrong-doing.

To date, the NBU has not acted, which prompted investors to file a court case in the Kiev City Commercial Court placing under arrest the assets and accounts of KreditPromBank in an effort to prevent the bank from being artificially bankrupted.

Defrauded investors from the United States appealed to the US Embassy to get involved in the case.

US Ambassador John Tefft wrote National Bank of Ukraine Governor Ihor Sorkin on June 11, 2013:

"I am greatly concerned by any report that a Ukrainian bank would treat foreign investors differently than those native to Ukraine. As a regulatory authority over all banking in Ukraine, I would greatly appreciate all Kreditprom investors - foreign and domestic - be afforded equal treatment."

US-Ukraine Business Council also took up the case in a letter to President Viktor Yanukovych, stating: "the bank's assets and accounts are already being transferred to Delta Bank, which is owned by Mr. Mykola Lagun. These actions appear to be consistent with preparation for [KreditPromBank's] artificial bankruptcy."

The USUBC concluded: "we highly value your commitment and the actions of the Government of Ukraine to improve the investment climate in Ukraine. At the same time, actions like those described above effectively negate all your efforts and should, in our opinion, receive an appropriate response."

Source: PRNewswire