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Estonia Watchdog Blocks Bank of Moscow Deal on Krediidipank

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Estonia’s financial watchdog blocked the Bank of Moscow and four smaller shareholders of AS Eesti Krediidipank from selling stakes in Estonia’s fifth-largest lender, saying the Swiss-registered buyer wasn’t transparent.

Under agreements signed last November, RLS Finance SA would become the bank’s biggest shareholder with a 44 percent stake after acquiring the shareholdings from Bank of Moscow, Lazuron Investments Ltd., Olix Holding Ltd., Firmex Investeeringud and Genovia Invest. This would end a dispute over the sale of Krediidipank shares by the former president of the Bank of Moscow, Andrei Borodin, the bank said then.

“The Financial Supervision Authority blocked the acquisition of a dominant share as the supervisor hasn’t established the origin of monetary and non-monetary assets that were intended to be used for the purchase of a significant part of Krediidipank shares,” the supervisor’s spokeswoman Malle Aleksius said in an e-mailed response to Bloomberg questions, confirming an earlier report by the Aeripaeev newspaper.

The watchdog also didn’t consider the finances of RLS Finance SA “strong enough to guarantee stable and reliable activities of Krediidipank,” she added.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ott Ummelas in Tallinn at oummelas@bloomberg.net

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

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