Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Russian Oligarch's Bank: This Is Going to Be One Big MFK Bank

Russia's richest man Mikhail Prokhorov will pool funds with three other Russian oligarchs tin a plan to buy up distressed Russian banks and firms.

Pokhorov's MFK bank announced today that it would get three new shareholders. The combined wealth of the four tycoons was estimated at around $19 billion by the Russian edition of U.S. Forbes magazine.

The shareholders will include investor Suleiman Kerimov, a co-owner of gold miner Polyus Gold, Alexander Abramov, a co-owner of steel maker Evraz Group, and Viktor Vekselberg, a shareholder in aluminum giant UC RUSAL and BP's Russian oil venture TNK-BP.

"An active work on solving Russian firms' debts and offering help to the state to restructure the national banking system have a special place in our new strategy," MFK's chief executive Alexander Popov said in a statement.

While many of his Russian peers sought state bailouts, Prokhorov, also a former banker, is flush with money after cashing out of assets in 2008 before the global crisis caused commodity prices to crash.

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