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VTB Bribe Claim May Set Back Kremlin Bank's Africa Ambitions

  • VTB banker accused of taking $2 million to help arrange loans
  • Russian bank hoping for restructuring of debt by year-end

Bribe allegations leveled in court against a VTB Group executive may complicate the Russian state-owned bank’s attempts to recoup a $535 million loan that’s part of a major debt scandal in Mozambique.

A New York court heard testimony last month that the VTB executive in charge of the deal, Makram Abboud, took $2 million in kickbacks. The bank denies the allegations, made by a former Credit Suisse Group AG banker at a criminal trial in which VTB isn’t a party, and its employee hasn’t been charged with any wrongdoing.