Lithuania Ukio Bankas Suspended on Failure to Meet Capital Rules

Lithuania temporarily suspended the operations of Ukio Bankas AB, the Baltic nation’s sixth-largest lender by assets, saying it engaged in risky behavior and no longer met capital-adequacy and liquidity requirements.

The central bank appointed a temporary administrator to assess and report within six days on the bank, which is controlled by Vladimir Romanov, the owner of Edinburgh soccer club Heart of Midlothian Plc, according to an e-mailed statement today from Vilnius, the capital.

“The decision was approved once it was clear that other statutory enforcement measures would not be sufficient in ensuring the security of the interests of depositors and the general public,” the central bank said in the statement.

Ukio Bankas reported in October a net loss of 44 million litai ($17 million) for the first nine months of 2012. It has since had to assuage investor concerns about the quality of its loans, the valuation of real estate it owns and probes into the alleged laundering of embezzled Russian money through its accounts.

The Nasdaq OMX Vilnius stock exchange said in a statement that it had suspended trading of Ukio shares at the central bank’s request.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bryan Bradley in Vilnius at bbradley13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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