November 1, 2019 / 6:34 PM / 10 days ago

Russia's Safmar group says it will buy some assets from Trust bank

FILE PHOTO: Mikhail Gutseriyev, president of oil and gas company RussNeft, attends The Russia Forum 2012 in Moscow, Russia, February 2, 2012. REUTERS/Anton Golubev

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s Safmar group, an umbrella for Mikhail Gutseriyev’s family business, said in a statement on Friday that it plans to buy some assets that it said were previously owned by Gutseriyev’s nephew, Mikail Shishkhanov, from the state-controlled Trust bank.

“This is not a question of paying off a mythical Mikhail Gutseriyev debt but of acquiring efficiently operating assets with a high market value,” said Safmar, where Gutseriyev chairs the board of directors.

Reuters, citing a document prepared by Trust bank, reported on Thursday that Gutseriyev had offered to buy back a property company and other assets taken on by the state to partially cover the bailout of two banks - B&N and Rost Bank - once owned by his family.

Safmar, which had declined to comment prior to the Reuters report, said on Friday that Gutseriyev had not been a controlling shareholder with B&N bank since 1995. It added that he had not been a shareholder with Rost Bank.

Russia’s central bank bailed out both banks in 2017.

Reuters could not independently confirm Safmar’s statement about the ownership structure of the banks.

Reporting by Katya Golubkova; editing by John O'Donnell and Kevin Liffey

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