Inteco rejects media reports of Moscow land deal probe

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Inteco, the property developer owned by Yelena Baturina, the wife of Moscow's former mayor Yury Luzhkov, rejected a report in the Financial Times that the Russian authorities were investigating Inteco's deal with a little-known company, Premier Estate, for land sale in west Moscow.

Inteco, the property developer owned by Yelena Baturina, the wife of Moscow's former mayor Yury Luzhkov, rejected a report in the Financial Times that the Russian authorities were investigating Inteco's deal with a little-known company, Premier Estate, for land sale in west Moscow.

The Financial Times reported on Wednesday that Baturina's debt-saddled construction empire was saved during last year's economic crisis "by finding an obscure company to buy 58 hectares of land just outside Moscow at a price that some experts say was well above what it would have commanded in boom times."

The company that bought the land, Premier Estate, was established with a charter capital of just 10,000 rubles less than three months before it received a 13 billion ruble credit from Bank of Moscow, the city administration's core bank closely related to Luzhkov, the paper said.

Later the company was sold and the land is now owned by a U.K. private equity group, Argo Capital Partners Fund, the paper said.

The paper claimed that investigators from the Russian interior Ministry were now examining whether the city budget funds were in fact used to refinance Baturina's debt.

Inteco, however, rejected the media reports.

"We do not have any information about the scrutiny of the deal on the 58 hectare land plot in the west of Moscow carried out by Inteco in 2009. If there had been such probes, the company would have certainly been notified of that," Inteco said.

MOSCOW, November 25 (RIA Novosti)

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