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To Sell Or Not to Sell
January 9, 2013 18:23

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Alexander Lebedev rejected rumours that he’s going to sell his National Reserve Bank.

The billionaire denied a statement made by Russia’s Kommersant daily that he planned to leave the banking sector to focus on the publishing industry.

In an interview with the RIA Novosti news agency, he claimed his bank was bank on its feet and he had no plans of selling it.

Lebedev’s bank suffered a serious outflow of customers after inspections by the Central Bank and security services. The billionaire has often said that these activities were politically motivated and were meant to punish him for his criticism of the Kremlin and support of opposition media.

In a Wednesday article, Kommersant also reported that the bank’s management worked hard to minimize the costs throughout 2012. The optimization plan included selling some of the non-core assets, like real estate in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi, and closure of regional offices.

In September 2012, Lebedev stepped down as the bank’s president and announced he will work at the bank for free.

Talking to RIA Novosti, he confirmed that the credit institution had introduced an efficient cost-cutting plan and was back to profitability.

The oligarch worth $1.1 billion is the owner of a number of newspapers, including Russia’s Novaya Gazeta, a vocal critic of the government, and Britain’s the Evening Standard and Independent newspapers.

He also controls a stake in Aeroflot, Russia's leading airline, and gas giant Gazprom.

Visit Russia-IC’s profile of Alexander Lebedev for more info.

More on Lebedev’s involvement with opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta here.

More on Lebedev’s plans for the Evening Standard and the Independent.


Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Alexander Lebedev Russian oligarchs Russian business   

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