The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2020 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Opinion

The battle for Privatbank: part two

Handing Ukraine’s largest bank back to its former shareholders would amount to economic suicide – but speculation is rising that leading presidential candidates plan to do just that.

lfp_banner_emerging_europe-780.

It is almost exactly two years since I first heard a theory that, at the time, seemed far-fetched in the extreme – to whit, that Ihor Kolomoisky, Ukrainian oligarch par excellence and former owner of Privatbank, was plotting to regain control of the recently nationalized lender.

“He wants to create a managerial vacuum and prevent the government restructuring the bank,” a senior Ukrainian banker told me. “He will then come back in a year and buy it back for one hryvnia.”

Fast forward to February 2019. Ukraine’s largest bank is still in state hands and, under new chief executive Petr Krumphanzl, restructuring is proceeding apace – although attempts to recover part of the $5.5 billion that went missing pre-nationalization recently suffered a setback in the High Court in London.

Far from fading away, however, the notion that Kolomoisky has his sights set on taking back ownership of Privat appears to be gaining currency in the run-up to the first round of presidential elections in Ukraine at the end of March.

Since the start of the year, three candidates for the top job have distanced themselves from the rest of the pack: incumbent president Petro Poroshenko, veteran politician Yulia Tymoshenko, and actor/comedian Volodymyr Zelensky.


You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree