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Latvia’s Krajbanka to Start Selling $347 Million Loan Portfolio

Latvijas Krajbanka AS, a Latvian bank that was seized by regulators last year, plans to sell part of its 185 million lati ($347.2 million) credit portfolio in the first quarter, according to its administrator, KPMG.

“The first round of due diligence has happened and we’ve received indications of interest” Stephen Young, a senior partner at KPMG Baltics, said Oct. 17 in an interview in Riga, the capital. “We’d expect a reasonable proportion to be sold.”

Krajbanka is seeking to recover 167 million lati of missing assets, regulators estimated in 2011. It will pursue any transactions it deems were illegal or contravened the bank’s interests and has filed complaints in courts outside of the Baltic states, Young said, declining to elaborate.

Latvia took Krajbanka over in November after Lithuanian regulators seized its parent Bankas Snoras AB on claims assets had disappeared. Lithuania and Snoras have filed criminal and civil suits in London against the bank’s former owners, Vladimir Antonov and Raimondas Baranauskas, for alleged fraud. Both deny the charges.

Latvia and Lithuania are working together in their search for assets and money transfers, with “competing cooperation” occurring in areas where there’s a shared interest, Young said.

KPMG has sold 26 assets including a yacht, cars and real estate, and has another 500 properties left to auction, according to Oskars Firmanis, a spokesman for the administrator.

The lender has paid back about 50 million lati to the state, leaving 286 million lati outstanding to the deposit insurance fund, Firmanis said.

-- Editors: Andrew Langley, Jeffrey Donovan

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