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By John Helmer, Moscow

Investbank, the Russian banking group which was formerly the property of Vladimir Antonov, was asked to clarify its position in relation to the charges now pending against Antonov in Lithuania; the extradition case under way in London; and balance-sheet examinations of banks associated with Antonov in Lithuania, Latvia, and elsewhere. Here is the story.

Investbank spokesman Olga Dubovitskaya has replied as follows:

“Currently, the Bank evaluates its financial condition as satisfactory and stable. There are no trends which could affect the financial stability of the Bank’s prospects. The overall level of risk is assessed as moderate, with a sufficient level of liquidity.

As a result of changes in the ownership structure of AKB “Investment Bank” (OAO) in March 2011, the Bank is no longer part of the asset group with which Bank Snoras is associated.

Comparatively low prices on the Russian interbank resources market, as well as their availability, observed during the last six months, coupled with a reduction in business activity between the Bank “Investment Bank” (OAO) and the Baltic banks after changing its ownership structure, have moved the Bank to work on the Russian interbank market, significantly reducing the influence of Snoras Bank as a source of liquidity for Investbank. The framework of interaction with it [Snoras] in recent years did not significantly differ from the framework of cooperation with other counterparties in the interbank market. As a result, taking into account the background of the events at Bank Snoras and provision for possible losses from Baltic counterparty debt, there is no significant effect on the earnings and mandatory standards [loss provision and capital adequacy criteria] of the Bank.

The reason for the change in credit rating outlook for AKB “Investment Bank” (OAO) by RusRating Agency has been the apprehension on the part of the rating agency of growth in non-financial risks as a result of negative news about the former owner of the Bank.

Because of the changes in liquidity management carried out by AKB “Investment Bank” (OAO) in 2011, its dependence on the interbank market has decreased significantly. In this case, there is no outflow of [accounts of] legal persons, and the dynamics of the growth of private deposits has remained stable in the absence of aggressive advertising, and taking into account the orientation of AKB “Investment Bank” (OAO) towards customer loyalty.”

Regarding title to Investbank’s headquarters building in Moscow, Galina Zima, vice president of the bank, said Investbank holds the building at Goncharnaya, 12, building 1, on lease. “The building used to be property of the city of Moscow, but on November 11, 2011, the Territorial Administration, together with the Moscow Property Department, filed documents to the Moscow branch of Rosregister to cancel the property rights of the City of Moscow and on November 18, 2011, documents were filed for registration of the building as federal government property.”

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