MOSCOW, September 11 (RIA Novosti) – Six Russian nationals have been elected to the board of directors of the Bank of Cyprus, the island nation’s largest bank, with one Russian national becoming vice chairman, the bank said Wednesday.
The Bank of Cyprus annual shareholders general meeting on Tuesday, the first after a reorganization, elected a total of 16 directors, with Vladimir Strzhalkovsky getting the position of vice chairman of the board.
Strzhalkovsky, a former CEO of Norilsk Nickel and a KGB colleague of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was in December given a $100 million “golden parachute” after stepping down from Norilsk, reportedly prompting Putin in late March to call for curbing generous payoffs to departing executives.
The Russians were elected as major shareholders in the Bank of Cyprus or the Cyprus Popular Bank (Laiki), the country’s second-largest bank.
In the summer, Cyprus agreed to overhaul its banking sector and introduce “haircuts,” or trimmings of account value, for bondholders and depositors with accounts of more than €100,000 in the country’s two biggest banks, in return for a much-needed bailout from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Before the trimmings, Russians had about $19 billion in deposits in Cyprus mainly through companies they established there. By the end of last year, Russian banks had about $12 billion placed with Cypriot banks and had loaned about $40 billion to Cypriot firms, according to estimates by the international rating agency Moody’s.