17:10 GMT +322 October 2018
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    Yusufov seeks blocking stake in Bank of Moscow

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    Russian businessman Vitaly Yusufov, Bank of Moscow's second largest shareholder, has asked the central bank to allow him to increase his 19.91 percent share to a blocking stake, Kommersant business daily quoted Yusufov as saying on Friday.

    Russian businessman Vitaly Yusufov, Bank of Moscow's second largest shareholder, has asked the central bank to allow him to increase his 19.91 percent share to a blocking stake, Kommersant business daily quoted Yusufov as saying on Friday.

    "We sent a request about a month ago. As far as I remember, legislation related to the central bank, banks and the whole package of instructions which additionally regulate the issue, the period for the central bank to consider such requests is either very long or unlimited," he told Kommersant in an interview.

    A blocking stake of 25 percent plus one share allows the shareholder to block all important decisions.

    Bank of Moscow, the capital's investment vehicle under former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, was recently taken over by state-run VTB bank after President Dmitry Medvedev fired Luzhkov over a lack of trust last fall.

    A central bank check last week revealed a significant hole in Bank of Moscow's assets and it will receive a bailout of 400 billion rubles ($14.28 bln), a record sum for the Russian banking system.

    VTB, which will contribute 100 billion rubles to the bailout, needs to hold 75 percent of Bank of Moscow to receive the remaining 300 billion rubles from the central bank.

    Media reports said Yusufov acquired his stake with the help of a $1.1 billion loan his company had taken from Bank of Moscow, but Yusufov denied this on Friday.

    Yusufov bought the shares from former Bank of Moscow head Andrei Borodin, who strongly opposed VTB's takeover and saw the sale as a way to impede it.

    When asked whether it was his or Borodin's initiative to sell the shares, Yusufov said: "This is an interesting question. I cannot answer it right now." 

    Borodin, who denies any wrongdoing, has fled Russia and is wanted on an international arrest warrant.

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