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Joint Press Release issued by Vneshtorgbank and Evrofinance Bank

 
12 January 2004

In connection with the initiated public discussion on withdrawal by the Bank of Russia of its stake from the capital of BCEN - Eurobank, Paris and Moscow Narodny Bank, London, Vneshtorgbank and Evrofinance Bank consider it essential to state as follows:

Guided by the operative Russian Banking Development Strategy, Vneshtorgbank and Evrofinance Bank addressed the Bank of Russia with a proposal to hold a public auction for the stake in the capital of BCEN - Eurobank, Paris and Moscow Narodny Bank, London, owned by the Bank of Russia, and expressed willingness to take part in the auction on such terms and within such deadline as will be fixed by the National Banking Council ("the NBC") and the Russian Government. Pursuant to the Law on the Bank of Russia, the NBC and the Russian Government are fully competent to make a relevant concerted and biding decision.

We proceed from the assumption that solely a transparent and legitimate market-oriented procedure to redeem the stake owned by the Bank of Russia in the capital of Russian foreign banks can serve as the basis for their efficient operation in the future in the banking sector of France and the United Kingdom.

We announced officially and publicly our interest in purchasing the stake in the capital of BCEN - Eurobank, Paris and Moscow Narodny Bank, London, as we have no doubt of our readiness to take part in the publicly held auction.

Unfortunately, distorted and unprofessional interpretation of the essence of our proposals and some expert estimates have become a subject of public discussion.

We assume that discussion of any level must not substitute market mechanisms to choose the best offer in terms of price and otherwise conditions of the transaction. In any case, we deem it impossible to participate in unprofessional dispute in absentio. At the same time, to avoid further replication of wrong information which can hamper the Bank of Russia`s stake withdrawal from the capital of Russian foreign banks, we are willing to make an official presentation of our proposals and to answer possible questions either on any sitting of the National Banking Council or within the framework of parliamentary hearings.


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