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As Russia’s second-biggest private bank implodes, its billionaire owners have been conspicuous by their absence.
By leaving Bank Otkritie FC to fend for itself, the four shareholders controlling more than a third of the company — their combined fortune valued at over $20 billion — may be giving the authorities little choice but to swoop in with a rescue. Now the central bank could be left holding the bag as it reportedly considers taking control of the troubled lender amid a run on its deposits.
“Minority owners are typically less incentivized to provide support,” said Alexander Danilov, a Fitch Ratings analyst. “The magnitude of outflows is too big for them to cover, plus I imagine their wealth is mostly stakes in companies and not cash…”
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