Ukrainian businessman Ihor Kolomoisky, one of the former stockholders of Ukraine`s largest PrivatBank, has commented on the investigation by Skhemy (Schemes) journalists, stating that shortly before the bank`s nationalization in December 2016, some UAH 110 billion, or US$4.16, had been withdrawn to the accounts of front companies.
”After the release of the program, I tried to contact a Skhemy journalist I know, Mykhailo Tkach, but I couldn`t reach him. Therefore, I want to clarify a few details on the TSN website Skhemy believes I `control`. It is unclear from the investigation, where and to whom exactly the loans worth UAH 110 billion issued by PrivatBank went. The thing is that this money never left the bank. As part of the restructuring of the loan portfolio, it was given to companies that repaid loans of previous borrowers. That is, the money remained in the bank,” he told TSN.ua.
Kolomoisky stressed that those transactions were performed under full control and ”close supervision” by Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Kateryna Rozhkova.
”And one more important nuance. On October 3, some 30 NBU employees came to PrivatBank, in addition to the curator who had been there before, so the companies mentioned in the investigation were in fact chosen by the National Bank. That is, the second stage PrivatBank`s recapitalization was held with the participation, under control and `close supervision` by NBU leadership and personally Ms. Rozhkova. At that moment, there were also representatives of Ernst & Young in PrivatBank who were preparing the document cited by journalists. The rest of the interview is pretty readable,” he said.
Noteworthy, the journalists of Skhemy TV show refer to the draft report by analysts from Ernst & Young on the financial condition of PrivatBank shortly before its nationalization.
According to the document, the auditors checked the bank`s largest borrowers and found that the risk of non-repayment of loans had exceeded UAH 82 billion as of April 1, 2015, whereas the figure had increased to over UAH 139 billion as of October 1, 2016.
The investigation says that according to the document, PrivatBank has restructured its loan portfolio; that is the debts of 170 previous borrowers were transferred to more than 30 new borrowers, which own over UAH 110 billion to the bank.