Cypriot strategist: Viktor Vekselberg increased his share in Bank of Cyprus

The main owner of Renova, Viktor Vekselber, became the key shareholder of Bank of Cyprus.
Origin source
According to the disclosure of the Bank of Cyprus, Viktor Vekselberg's Lamesa Holdings has become one of the largest shareholders of Bank of Cyprus with a 9.3% share. Vekselberg has increased his share for the second time, becoming a key shareholder of the bank. In 2015, he also increased the share and bought a package of about 0.7% of the capital from the ex-head of Norilsk Nickel and Rostourism, Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, as wrote the Cypriot newspaper Kathimerini.

In September 2014, the Cypriot bank, following the results of the additional issue, disclosed the share of Renova Group in its capital, which amounted to 5.4%. Earlier, a representative of Renova told Interfax that investments in the bank had been a "prospective financial investment." According to a source close to Norilsk Nickel, Strzhalkovskiy got a bonus ($50 million) for his work at Norilsk Nickel in Cyprus Cyprus Popular Bank and subsequently spent a long time trying to save it; Vekselberg's purchase of its share is part of the operation. Renova reported that the Vekselberg's company acquired the shares without any connection to some significant debt in the bank. "That's a good bank," says a representative of Renova.

Renova emerged among the shareholders of the bank after the Cyprus crisis of 2013, when thousands of depositors of Bank of Cyprus, including a large number of Russians, received shares of the bank in exchange for the deposits withdrawn under the bailout program of the Cyprus financial sector. Authorities forcibly exchanged 47.5% of the deposit amount in excess of €100 000 for the shares of the bank. As a result of the reorganization, the Russian companies which kept money in the Bank of Cyprus, received a total of more than 30% of its shares, and were the largest shareholders. Bank of Cyprus also absorbed its nearest competitor Cyprus Popular Bank Pcl in the framework of the restructuring of the banking sector, supported by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Director of the Center for protection of the rights of shareholders and investors of the Cyprus banks, Yevgeny Kogan, estimated the losses of Russian depositors of the BoC at least at $4 billion. In the top management of the Cyprus BoC there were Russians quite often: in addition to the already mentioned Strzhalkovsky, the general director of the North Domodedovo complex, Eriskhan Kurazov (represented the interest of the co-owner of BIN Bank, Mikhail Shishkhanov, during the purchase of the National Hotel); a member of the Board of Directors of BIN Bank, Angelica Anshakova; Anton Smetanin, who represented the interests of Vitaly Yusufov the board of directors of Bank of Moscow.

However, the billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, the former major shareholder of Uralkali, became the pioneer in the Cypriot market. Even before the crisis (in 2010), he was one of the largest shareholders of Bank of Cyprus (9,7%). In addition, the bank had a significant number of branches in Russia; its ownership of Uniastrum Bank also connects it to Russia. The latter was sold to the owner of Regional Credit bank, Artyom Avetisyan.