Ukraine tycoon blasts Kiev over bank nationalisation

Billionaire Igor Kolomoyskiy said in his first published comments since Sunday's takeover of PrivatBank that Kiev officials falsely accused him of issuing bad loans to cronies and having insufficient capital to stay afloat.

Ukraine tycoon blasts Kiev over bank nationalisation

World Bulletin / News Desk

The owner of Ukraine's largest bank nationalised last weekend shot back at the authorities on Friday accusing them of spreading false rumours about his lender that forced him to appeal for help.

The decision by the finance ministry to put its own administrators at a bank holding more than one-third of Ukraine's deposits was welcomed by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union as a stabilising move.

The lender required years of state assistance and was generally considered too big to fail because its fall could have created a domino effect that would have frozen the pro-Western former Soviet republic's financial system.

"PrivatBank became the victim of the arbitrary rule of the central bank," Kolomoyskiy told Friday's edition of Ukraine's news site.

"PrivatBank had a balanced, secured loan portfolio that was confirmed by international auditors. However, the central bank, by constantly changing its own regulations, kept making up new ways of artificially lowering (PrivatBank's) capitalisation."

Ukraine's central bank chief Valeria Gontareva had said that 97 percent of the PrivatBank's loans were issued by Kolomoyskiy to his business partners who might either have not paid them back or had done so on preferential conditions.

She added that the bank's debts grew to $5.6 billion by December 1.

Kolomoyskiy called both charges a "myth".

"They got all these figures by constantly changing their own accounting standards," the 53-year-old owner of not only banks but also numerous media outlets and even airlines and smelters said.

Perhaps one of the most important things missing from Kolomoyskiy's statement was a declaration that he was joining the opposition to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

The tycoon was one of the president's first and biggest targets in Ukraine's uphill straggle to tackle corruption.

Kolomoyskiy withstood the attack and kept all his businesses.

But he said on Friday that the prime minister and his team had "shown true bravery" in making the decision to place his bank under state administration when it was experiencing financial turmoil.

He also admitted that he was the one who appealed to the government for salvation of his most prised asset.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Aralık 2016, 14:47