Vekselberg BOC stake subject of intra-bank transaction (Corrected)

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(Corrects first and second paragraph with comment by a spokesperson of Vekselberg and adds additional background)

By Stelios Orphanides

The 9.3 per cent stake in Bank of Cyprus of major stakeholder Viktor Vekselberg was transferred to a UBS account as part of an intra-bank transaction, a spokesperson said.

The stake of the Russian investor who had participated in the bank’s August 2014 capital increase was transferred from an omnibus account at BNP London to a UBS client account in Zurich, his spokesperson said.
Details of this transaction had not been disclosed at the Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) or the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

Vekselberg, seen as an ally of Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, had expressed interest in further expanding his stake in Cyprus’s largest bank and was targeted last month with US sanctions.

After it emerged that the Cypriot government decided last year to offer him an honorary Cypriot citizenship, his spokesperson said that he only had the Russian citizenship.

The share of the bank, which posted on Tuesday an after-tax profit of 43m for the first quarter compared to a net profit of €1m a year before, was trading at around €1.80 at the LSE, about one third of the price Vekselberg paid to participate in the bank’s capital increase in 2014.

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About Author

Stelios Orphanides is a journalist at CyprusBusinessMail.com. To contact Stelios Orphanides: [email protected]

  • alexander reutersward

    As US starts to set high demands on Cypriot banks, Russian owners sell their shares…wonder why?

    • Barry White

      As seen in the last weeks, the Elite are afraid that the House of Cards is near collapse. Anything to keep the gravy boat afloat. The visit of the US Treasury representative recently has clearly set the sphincters twitching.

      • Colin Evans

        There is no announcement on the LSE,so far, but the shares have risen.

        • Neroli

          €1.76 on LSE

          • Colin Evans

            Just had another look. Up to 1.81, but still no announcement listed.

          • Colin Evans

            Ended the day at 1.935, but still no announcement. Will probably be issued at 7.00am tomorrow (London Time).

    • Neroli

      Not just Cyprus banks. The Russian oligarchs are dumping shares everywhere. He also sold shares in Petropavlosk gold mine that he owns a few months ago

      • alexander reutersward

        who knows, they might prepare for a global crash (could very well be Putins next move)

  • Barry White

    As the Central Bank is required to approve in advance any such sale and be satisfied of the full background and give approval of an acquirer of these shares, either the Central Bank is not informing publicly as required by them the above information or the information is incorrect.

    The Russian gentlemen would be well pleased to sell his shares in BOC.

    BOC “was trading at around €1.80 at the LSE, about one third of the price Vekselberg paid to participate in the bank’s capital increase in 2014.”

    The shares are ‘valued’ at 50% of their year ago price.

    .

  • Lev

    That’s good news for Cyprus, keep clear of the people on the sanctions list.

  • Neroli

    Don’t blame him for dumping them!

  • Vlad Ab

    Oh, Gosh, how many times we were saying to our guys: “even if you stole money, never invest it in Cyprus which is certain way to lose money”

    • Barry White

      That would be “Invest in the Sunny Isle and turn a large fortune into a small one.

      • Vlad Ab

        That’s what we should avoid to help our slaves (Cypriots) to collapse…

  • Les

    ‘Offering him Cypriot citizenship’ – how sad is that? Another example of extremely poor judgement and leadership. I know this guy well and was there when Vex and his buddies used corruption to acquire assets at a small small fraction of what they were really worth based on global standards. Right place at the right time as they say.

  • costaskarseras

    As they say, wherever there’s food there are vermin, does it matter what their colour is? The British hydrocarbon wealth from the North Sea hasn’t benefited the British people and I expect the same will happen with Cyprus’ hydrocarbons. With so much wealth in Cyprus’ EEZ the pushing and shoving is still not enough for position to secure the biggest share for themselves but a fight of no holds barred is in process. The interest of the multinationals are well represented and promoted by various governments. This can be seen by the manner of how Bill Browder was handled by the Spanish police who arrested him. It took only a telephone call from people in high places and he was set free within two hours.

    Breaking News: After continuously broadcasting the involvement of President Putin in the assassination of the Journalist Babchenko, the very “trustworthy” authorities in Kiev are now telling us that he is alive and that we have got it all wrong and that Russia is only accused of planning the murder of the journalist.

  • Copernicus

    Has the reporter of the CM bothered to contact the office of Mr V to check the veracity of what he is reporting. There has been no official statement and begs the questions where he go his information.