RIGA - Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers on Nov. 6 postponed the sale of Citadele Bank until next May, said Economy Ministry State Secretary Juris Puce, reports Nozare.lv. The decision was made taking into account the complicated situation in the banking sector and insufficient interest among investors. There are currently many banks for sale and only a few of these processes conclude successfully, said Puce.
Next May, when the economy minister will have to come up with a report on the situation, the government will decide whether to resume the bank’s sale effort.
The Nov. 6 decision was made after hearing out the bank’s representative and consultant Nomura International.
On Aug. 8, 2008, the government decided to bail out Parex Bank’s controlling interest from its previous owners - Viktors Krasovickis and Valerijs Kargins - who led the bank into bankruptcy amidst the global financial meltdown, along with ongoing allegations of Parex’ massive money laundering activities.
On Aug. 1, 2010, Citadele Bank began operations. At the same time, the technical split of Parex Bank was performed, and as a result, a part of the bank’s assets and liabilities - the so-called ‘good’ assets - were transferred to Citadele.
Citadele Bank operated with 2.5 million lats (3.5 million euros) in profit after provisions and taxes in the first half of 2012.
As of June 30, Citadele assets totaled 1.36 billion lats. Citadele’s loan portfolio reached 628 million lats. The bank’s capital and reserves amounted to 85 million lats at the end of June.