Russia ‘Dirty’ Cash Won’t Come to U.K. From Cyprus, Lebedev Says

March 20 (Bloomberg) -- Russian “dirty money” won’t move from Cyprus to London, newspaper tycoon Alexander Lebedev said.

“This money may come into Hyde Park One or the pockets of a few lawyers, but otherwise it will still be kept outside Britain,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg TV today. “It will be sitting outside in offshore jurisdictions” like Latvia, Lithuania, Belize and the Marshall Islands, Lebedev said.

London welcomes all legitimate investment from overseas, Mayor Boris Johnson said March 18. “On the red carpet front, we’re pretty promiscuous,” he said in a Bloomberg TV interview. Russia’s benchmark stock index sank to a three-month low that day on concern Cyprus’s planned deposit levy would hurt local companies and banks. The country’s lawmakers rejected the proposal yesterday.

Russian lenders and companies had about $31 billion placed in Cypriot banks or their own units at the end of 2012, according to a report from Moody’s Investors Service March 13. At least $30 billion in further exposure comes from bank loans to Cypriot companies of Russian origin, the ratings company said.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at