Ukraine Puts Privatbank Under Cabinet Ownership
28 November, 2019

Ukraine has changed the formal owner of Privatbank, the largest Ukrainian bank. Previously it was the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, but, according to the document published by the National Bank of Ukraine, since September 25, Privatbank is owned by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

The lawsuits on the recognition of the “illegality” of the Privatbank nationalization are ongoing between oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky and his companies-shareholders of the bank and the Ministry of Finance.

READ MORE: Privat Empire: What Does Oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky Own in Ukraine?

FinClub, a reputable news agency that specializes in financial news, has suggested that the change in ownership may indicate the state's attempt to guard itself from negative decisions that may arise from the court hearings on the nationalization of Privatbank. This would mean that if Ukraine loses against Kolomoisky in the upcoming December 19 court hearing , the court may oblige the Ministry of Finance to return the Privatbank shares. But the institution would not be able to do so as it will lose access to them.

READ MORE: “No Basis to Return Privatbank to Kolomoisky” - Zelenskyy Administration

This comes just a day after the Board of the National Bank of Ukraine (or NBU) made an official statement that Kolomoisky pressures the institution. The board stated that a group of unknown men tried entering the main NBU building and that regular "paid" protests were taking place outside it. 

On November 23, Kolomoisky told the Kyiv Post that he would get PrivatBank back "in the near future" and "the IMF (International Monetary Fund -ed.) knows about it."

READ MORE: Oligarch Kolomoisky on Privatbank Saga, Zelenskyy, Giuliani, and Ukrainian Oligarchy

On October 17, the Commercial Court of Kyiv City postponed the final judgment in the case of the nationalization of Privatbank because of the appeal filed by the state against the decision of the Kyiv District Administrative Court, which declared the nationalization illegal. The appeal hearing is scheduled to take place on December 19.

At the same time, the government is working on a bill that may prohibit the return of Privatbank to its former owners, according to media reports that cite anonymous sources.

READ MORE: "Privatbank Remains a Key Obstacle for the Zelenskyy Administration" – Economist Timothy Ash

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