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EBRD to stay away from auction to sell state share in Belarusian Priorbank

Economy 04.12.2019 | 17:38

MINSK, 4 December (BelTA) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will not participate in the auction meant to sell the state-owned share in Belarusian Priorbank, BelTA learned from EBRD First Vice President Jurgen Rigterink on 4 December.

The executive said: “We are not going to participate if it is an auction. The fact of the successful auction will indicate that there was some private investor or a commercial bank willing to buy a minority package in the country or abroad or it will indicate that the owner (the majority shareholder) wants to buy the remaining package. The auction will proceed without us in either case.”

Jurgen Rigterink specified that there is no additional value in the EBRD's participation in the auction considering the EBRD's mission. “Our participation will not bring additional benefits to other bidders. Instead it will create unnecessary competition. If the auction does not take place, we will be happy to resume discussions with the government about the matter,” he added.

Earlier BelTA quoted Chairman of the State Property Committee of Belarus Andrei Gayev as saying that the auction to sell Priorbank shares will take place in 2020 provided the head of state authorizes it.

In April 2019 the State Property Committee estimated the value of the state package of shares in Priorbank at €17 million. At present Raiffeisen CIS Region Holding GmbH (Austria) owns 87.74% of Priorbank's charter capital. The state package exceeds 6%. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development previously indicated its interest in buying the state package. The EBRD has been buying Priorbank's stock since 1998 in order to resell it to Raiffeisen. The EBRD did not rule out the possibility of reselling the state-owned share to the principal shareholder if the bank had managed to acquire it.

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