Ukrainian bank to buy shares in Multibanka

  • 2001-10-18
  • BNS
RIGA - A Ukrainian bank, UkrSibbank, has obtained permission from the Ukrainian Central Bank to acquire shares in Latvia's Multibanka, reported a spokeswoman for Multibanka. "The acquisition of shares is a logical continuation of the long-standing cooperation between the two banks and further development of joint projects on the Ukrainian market," she said. It has not been decided yet how many Multibanka shares will be sold to the Ukrainian bank, therefore details of the deal will be released at some later time.

If UkrSibbank seeks substantial participation in Multibanka's registered capital (above 10 percent), the Ukrainian bank will also be required to obtain permission from the Latvian financial supervisory authority, the Finance and Capital Market Commission.

Multibanka is one of the oldest commercial banks in Latvia, being a successor to the Latvian branch of the Soviet Foreign Economic Relations Bank that was first founded in 1988, then nationalized in 1991 after Latvia broke free from the Soviet Union, and which has served as the foreign operations department of the Bank of Latvia, handling payments in foreign currencies for all central bank branches and newly-established Latvian commercial banks. This department's privatization, in April 1994, resulted in the founding of Multibanka.

Following the sixth share issue in Nov. 2000, Multibanka's registered capital now totals 4.29 million lats ($6.92 million). In the first eight months of 2001 the bank posted a profit of 1.05 million lats. At the end of this August Multibanka held 75 million lats in assets, ranking 15th among Latvian commercial banks according to assets.

Multibanka has representative offices in Russia (in Moscow and Yekaterinburg) and the Ukraine (Kiev). Multibanka is also a member of the Riga Stock Exchange, the Latvian Central Depository of Securities and the Latvian Commercial Banks' Association. Multibanka's largest shareholders include the Irish-registered company Trans Baltic Limited (11.28 percent) as well as several individuals and corporate entities, part of which are associated with the holding company Skonto.

UkrSibbank was registered on June 18, 1990. The bank has 14 affiliates and over 30 branches in 11 regions in Ukraine. As of Sept. 1, 2001, the bank had a fixed capital of some $17 million, capital in the amount of $39.67 million and assets totaling $327.58 million.