MOSCOW, April 19 Russia's central bank said on
Tuesday it will lend 66.7 billion roubles ($1.19 billion) to
help keep troubled bank Peresvet, a lender run by the Russian
Orthodox Church, afloat.
Peresvet, one of Russia's top-50 lenders, will receive a
further 69.7 billion roubles from more than 70 creditors who
agreed to convert their loans into 15-year subordinated bonds,
which rank after other debts if the bank faces bankruptcy.
This should be enough to cover a hole in Peresvet's balance
sheet, which stands at 103.6 billion roubles, according to the
central bank's estimates.
After inspecting Peresvet in 2016, the central bank
introduced a "temporary administration" at the bank, half of
which belongs to Russia's powerful Orthodox Church.
Earlier this year the central bank assigned managers from
the Russian Regional Development Bank, owned by Russia's largest
oil producer Rosneft, to temporarily run Peresvet.
Russian news agencies cited the central bank's press service
as saying in October that Peresvet had taken excessively high
risks when providing loans to construction companies facing a
sharp fall in demand for their services.
The central bank did not withdraw Peresvet's banking licence
but imposed a moratorium on servicing its obligations for
several months in what, according to Fitch ratings agency,
constituted a default.
The central bank is now in the midst of cleaning up Russia's
banking system, which it says is plagued by "dubious activities"
including non-performing loans and money laundering, and has
shown no inclination to bail out Peresvet.
The church lender formally calls itself the "Commercial Bank
for Charity and Spiritual Development of the Fatherland".
($1 = 56.2000 roubles)
(Reporting by Kira Zavyalova; Writing by Andrey Ostroukh;
Editing by Jack Stubbs)