Moscow court’s decision won’t affect activities of Azerbaijan International Bank (UPDATE)

Business Materials 11 May 2018 20:47 (UTC +04:00)

Details added (first version posted on 20:07)

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 11

By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

The decision of the Moscow Court of Arbitration to impose arrest on 41.6 percent of the capital of IBA-Moscow, the Russian subsidiary of the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA), upon an appeal from Russia's Sberbank, won’t affect the IBA's activities, the bank said in a statement May 11.

“This claim, which has the nature of a purely commercial dispute, won’t affect the activities of the IBA in any way,” reads the statement. “This is while the bank has the right to challenge this decision in the court.”

In April 2018, Sberbank PJSC filed a lawsuit at the High Court of Justice, in England and Wales, against the IBA to collect debt under a loan agreement worth $21.27 million.

However, according to the report, Sberbank failed to enforce the loan repayment for a number of reasons.

In 2017, the IBA Supervisory Board made a decision on the voluntary restructuring of the foreign liabilities of the bank. In May 2017, the Nasimi District Court of Baku, Azerbaijan, granted the IBA appeal on initiating a procedure of voluntary restructuring.

Last July, the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York granted the IBA recognition of its ongoing restructuring in Azerbaijan. The recognition triggered an automatic stay barring any action in the United States against IBA or its US-located assets.

"Thus, Sberbank was unable to enforce the loan agreement in the United States in connection with the injunction to initiate any procedural actions against IBA or its US-located assets," the court said.

The Moscow Court of Arbitration further reminded that a decision on liquidation of the Russian subsidiary of the IBA was made at a general meeting of the IBA shareholders in March 2018.

According to the court, these circumstances may obstacle or make it impossible to enforce the court's decision if Sberbank's claims to the IBA are granted and if there is insufficiency of funds for execution of such a decision.

The IBA-Moscow was founded in 2002.

The IBA has been operating since 1992. The bank has been at the stage of recovery since July 2015, which is related to preparations for privatization of the bank's state-owned shares.

To restore the bank's financial position, the distressed assets of the bank were transferred to the state-owned Aqrarkredit non-bank credit organization. Aqrarkredit provides IBA with liquid assets in exchange for distressed assets.

Restructuring of IBA’s foreign liabilities has been recently completed.


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