Where did the eternal values go? Incombank case considered in Duma

Everybody must remember advertisements of such pioneers of the Russian banking sector as Incombank with its “eternal values,” or Imperial reminding customers of “the time to gather stones.” Yes, it was the time when the banks’ billboards assured us that the Russian economy would soon be thriving, the dollars becoming of no use. Those times are gone. What we are having now are lawsuits, creditors, receiverships. Yesterday, the State Duma (Russia’s lower house of parliament) was considering the situation around Incombank. Mikhail Prokhorov, the chairman Incombank creditors committee and chairman of Rosbank, asserted that Incombank’s former management had deliberately caused the bank to go bankrupt. According to Vremya MN newspaper, Inkombank managers succeeded in diverting assets totalling some $1bn, including share packages of renowned Russian producer companies, such as Rot Front, Sukhoi, Baltiyski Zavod, Gazprom, Lenenergo. Those assets went offshore or were sold to affiliated structures for a song. However, positive developments are starting to show here. According to the Duma commission’s findings, the bank’s efforts to meet creditor claims have liven up in late-2000 – early 2001. Over 70% of the total debt has already been repaid to the clients by now, the rest to be repaid by March this year, Vladimir Tarachev, the deputy chairman of the Duma’s credit organizations and financial markets committee is quoted by Interfax as saying. In a month, the commission will be held its next session at which the cases of the Imperial and Mezhkombank banks are to be considered, Inna Novikova reports.