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    Neftyanoi Bank declares voluntary liquidation

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    MOSCOW, April 17 (RIA Novosti) - The owners of Moscow-based Neftyanoi Bank Monday notified clients and creditors of the bank's upcoming voluntary dissolution.

    The bank's shareholders made a decision on voluntary liquidation at a meeting on April 7, the bank said in a press release.

    "In the current situation, the bank's owners consider that its further existence is not possible," the release said.

    Last week, a spokesman for Neftyanoi said the Central Bank had banned it from accepting private deposits, citing violations of deposit insurance rules.

    On December 8, 2005, police raided Neftyanoi Bank and seized documents that prosecutors said proved it was involved in money laundering. Chairman Boris Nemtsov, a former leader of the Union of Right Forces party, quit following the raid.

    Nemtsov was invited to join the bank in February 2004 by Neftyanoi owner Igor Linshits, known for his financial support for the Communist Party (KPRF) and leading opposition figure Mikhail Kasyanov, a former prime minister, who last month announced the creation of his own political party.

    Neftyanoi Bank was founded by a group of fuel and energy companies in 1991. Its current shareholders are construction and developer companies. As of April 2005, the bank's equity funds aggregated $58 million and its assets totaled $224 million. The bank has authorized capital of $54 million and financial investments valued at $96 million.

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