September 20, 2017 / 3:16 PM / a year ago

Russia's B&N Bank says Mikhail Gutseriev is not a shareholder

MOSCOW, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Russian oligarch Mikhail Gutseriev is no longer a shareholder in B&N bank, a lender which has asked the central bank to rescue it, B&N Bank said on Wednesday.

The lender said in a statement that Gutseriev sold his ownership stake in B&N bank in 1998 to his nephew, Mikail Shishkhanov, who is now chairman of the bank’s board overseeing bailout talks with the central bank.

However, in a document posted on B&N Bank’s website and dated Aug. 16, 2017, Gutseriev is listed as a shareholder, alongside Shishkhanov. The document carried the signature of the bank’s caretaker chairman at the time, Alexander Lukin.

Asked to explain the apparent discrepancy, a B&N spokesman directed Reuters questions to Safmar, the holding group which controls B&N Bank. A Safmar spokeswoman said she had nothing to add to the information in the statement.

In a separate statement on Wednesday, Safmar said that B&N is a separate entity inside the group and ‘a sphere of responsibility of its owner, Mikail Shishkhanov.’

A source familiar with negotiations about central bank aid for B&N Bank told Reuters that discussions were focused on how much money the bank’s shareholders would be required to contribute to a bailout. (Reporting by Katya Golubkova, Vladimir Soldatkin and Elena Fabrichnaya; Writing by Christian Lowe)

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