Two shareholders resign at top private Russian lender Alfa-Bank

By Reuters

– Two shareholders of top private Russian lender Alfa-Bank have resigned, leaving five minority shareholders each with a non-controlling interest, the bank said in a statement on Tuesday, without giving a reason for their departure.

Alfa-Bank said German Khan and Alexey Kuzmichev, who held respective stakes of 21% and 16.3%, had resigned. The bank’s co-founder and largest shareholder Mikhail Fridman was one of several business figures sanctioned by the European Union and Britain over Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Fridman holds a 32.9% stake, while his business partner Petr Aven, who was also sanctioned, holds 12.4% of the bank. Both men vowed to contest the EU sanctions imposed on them, which Fridman described as “groundless and unfair”.

Alfa-Bank is one of several Russian banks to be placed on a sanctions list, though it has played down the impact of those measures on its operations.

One remaining minority shareholder is UniCredit, holding 9.9% in Alfa-Bank. The Italian lender on Tuesday said it was studying ways to exit Russia, but needs to find a solution for its 4,000 local staff and European companies it serves which are also trying to leave.