UPDATE 1-U.S. buyout boss Bonderman to leave Russian VTB's supervisory board

Wed May 14, 2014 12:47pm EDT

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MOSCOW May 14 (Reuters) - Russia's second-largest bank VTB said on Wednesday that David Bonderman, head of U.S. buyout fund TPG, would leave the lender's supervisory board at his own request.

TPG and VTB gave no reasons for Bonderman's exit, which comes after a deterioration in relations between the United States and Russia over the Ukraine crisis. The White House has urged U.S. business leaders to avoid an upcoming conference in St Petersburg, saying attending would not be appropriate.

Bonderman could not be reached for comment.

VTB, which has not been subject to any sanctions resulting from the Ukraine crisis, said Bonderman, who joined the supervisory board in 2011, would not be on a list of candidates for a place on the board.

Mikhail Kopeikin, a member of Russia's Duma, will be nominated to the supervisory board, VTB said in a regulatory statement.

TPG has been one of the few U.S. buyout firms to invest in Russia in recent years and Bonderman has frequented conferences in Moscow - in contrast to many rival firms which have shied away from the country.

TPG has three investments in Russia - in transportation company Fesco and supermarket chain Lenta as well as in VTB.

It bought $100 million worth of VTB shares in 2011 alongside China's investment fund CIC, but since then the bank's share price has fallen around 50 percent.

TPG's investment in Lenta has however been more successful and it was able to sell shares worth around $480 million in the company's February stock market flotation, cutting its holding to around 39 percent from 49.8 percent. (Reporting by Megan Davies; Additional reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Thomas Grove)

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