Amsterdam Trade Bank up for sale; Russian owners targeted by sanctions: report

AMSTERDAM - The Amsterdam Trade Bank, which is owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Michail Fridman and others, is for sale, various sources told Financieele Dagblad. The bank is struggling under sanctions from the United Kingdom and the United States due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The European Union hasn't sanctioned the bank.

The Amsterdam Trade Bank (ATB), located in Amsterdam's Zuidas, does not have the best reputation. The Public Prosecution Service (OM) launched a money-laundering investigation at the bank in 2017, and that investigation is still ongoing, according to FD. ATB is also part of the largest Russian private bank Alfa Bank, partly owned by Fridman and Petr Aven. The EU added them to its sanctions list in March due to their ties to the Kremlin.

An ATB employee told FD by phone on Thursday that the bank is looking for a buyer or merger partner. A few hours later, the management announced in writing that the employee is not a spokesperson for the bank and that the board has "no comment at this time." Various sources told FD that ATB is actively approaching investors with an offer to take over the entire bank or individual portfolios, often at discounts of up to 40 percent of the book value.

According to a bank statement from May last year, Fridman and Aven own 42 percent of ATB. A company is subject to EU sanctions if a sanctioned oligarch owns more than 50 percent of the shares, which is not the case here. The bank also has two other Russian owners, Alexei Kuzmichov and German Khan, but they are not on the EU sanctions list.

ATB is not a large bank, with 1.2 billion euros on its balance sheet at the end of 2020.

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