Bulgaria ex-FinMin Djankov Quitting VTB Supervision

Finance | April 30, 2015, Thursday // 12:27|  views

Djankov, who visited Bulgaria in February, is seen here with Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov (R). Photo by BGNES

Simeon Djankov, who last year joined Russian VTB bank's Supervisory Council, is now stepping down, Russian media reports suggest.

The report is run by Russian daily Kommersant [RU], in an article that gives a summary of recent moves by foreign nationals to quit high-profile positions at Russian bank as the country's financial system is suffering from the impact of Russian sanctions.

VTB has not yet officially announced this, and the change is reflected neither on its Russian nor on its Bulgarian-language website. The report comes as the bank is due to appoint a new supervisory body, a step it takes on an annual basis. Djankov, as the paper informs, will not run.

"I will not stand [for this office], since I don't think I can be useful to the bank following the imposition of sanctions," Kommersant quotes Djankov as telling its journalists.

VTB for its part commented by saying Djankov's candidacy was not included into the shortlist for the next election of Supervisory Council members which is due to take place in June.

Djankov joined the council in June of last year.

The prominent news outlet says VTB, and other Russian entities hit by the sanctions, are refusing to openly admit the developments.

Peter Kraljic, a Member of the Supervisory Council at Sberbank, is also reported to be withdrawing, though his name is still on Sberbank's website.

Both Sberbank and VTB are among Russia's two biggest banks, which are though to have been severely hampered by Western measures over the Ukraine crisis and by the inflation that followed suit across th country.

Kommersant, and other Russian media outlets as well, are arguing that more and more foreign nationals are choosing to take the step.

Law experts are quoted as saying that membership of European or US nationals in Russian banks' boards might be interpreted by Western authorites as assistance to Russian companies in drawing investment and therefore might constitute violation of the sanctions.

Djankov, who was at the helm of the Finance Ministry under PM Boyko Borisov's first government (in 2009-2013), is controversially perceived in Bulgaria, with some reproaching him for being the architect of "crippling" austerity policies and others praising his resolution to implement these policies.

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Tags: Simeon Djankov, Peter Kraljic, Sberbank, VTB, Boyko Borisov, Bulgaria, Russia, sanctions, Ukraine


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