MOSCOW May 14 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
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)