Bank says Kazakh oligarch caused losses for foreign banks

Aug 09. Tengrinews

Bank says Kazakh oligarch caused losses for foreign banksKazakh bank BTA said Thursday that exiled oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov had embezzled at least $6 billion and also caused hundreds of millions in losses for foreign banks, AFP reports.

Ablyazov was arrested last week in France on a warrant issued by Ukraine where BTA has subsidiaries.

A BTA spokeswoman estimated that British banks HSBC, Standard Chartered, RBS and Barclays were exposed to $500 million in losses.

Eight Italian banks including Unicredit, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena and Mediobanca, were left on the hook for $250 million.

The damage to French banks BNP Paribas, Societe Generale, Credit Agricole and BPCE was around $50 million, she added.

She also said Credit Suisse, Germany’s Commerzbank and Wells Fargo in the United States were hit, but did not cite any figures.

Ablyazov “not only pushed our bank to the brink of bankruptcy, but also caused losses for international investors,” said the bank spokeswoman.

She said the banks were cooperating in efforts to recover BTA’s assets.

Societe Generale declined to comment, while the other French banks were not able to immediately respond to questions surrounding the case.

Ablyazov fled to Britain in 2009 amid accusations he stole billions of dollars in state and investor funds.

He left that country after being sentenced to 22 months in jail for contempt of court by the London’s High Coutry.

French authorities are to examine extradition requests before deciding whether to deport Ablyazov.

Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Russia have requested his extradition so far.