July 21, 2011 / 9:16 AM / 7 years ago

Russia central bank pulls AMT Bank's licence

* Has some 15 billion roubles ($534 mln) in retail deposits

* BTA Bank, Mukhtar Ablyazov are shareholders with AMT

MOSCOW, July 21 (Reuters) - Russia’s central bank has pulled the banking licence of mid-sized AMT Bank, which has some 15 billion roubles ($534 million) in retail deposits, a move that may force the regulator’s largest payout to insured depositors.

The Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA) said each AMT depositor would be covered for up to 700,000 roubles.

AMT Bank, in which Kazakhstan’s third-largest lender by assets BTA Bank holds 22.3 percent, with another 19.8 percent controlled by BTA’s former head Mukhtar Ablyazov, is Russia’s 83rd-largest bank with 45.2 billion roubles in assets.

“AMT Bank has invested in low-quality assets without making proper provisions against possible losses,” the central bank said in a statement.

It added AMT had ignored orders to value its assets soundly, which artificially inflated its equity and concealed evidence that would justify bankruptcy.

The shutdown of AMT appeared to show the central bank was tightening up controls after it faced fierce criticism over the sudden collapse of Bank of Moscow , Russia’s No.5 bank, which triggered a record $14 billion bailout this month.

Russian Kommersant daily reported on Thursday AMT Bank is controlled by the companies affiliated with Ablyazov, who fled to London in 2009.

BTA asked Britain to arrest Ablyazov in May, from whom it seeks billions of dollars in compensation for alleged misappropriation. He has denied wrongdoing. (Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Editing by David Hulmes) ($1 = 28.08 roubles)

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