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Mar. 27, 2006
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Rossia Bank to Reach Federal Level
St. Petersburg Rossia Bank that is controlled by President Putins mate Yury Kovalchuk is on the verge of the management upheaval. More likely than not, Mikhail Klishin will soon vacate the office of the banks general director and board chairman in favor of Dmitry Lebedev, head of the North-West Center for Strategic Development and Kovalchuks adviser. The analysts attribute this move of the banks owners to their intention to turn Rossia into the federal bank.
Rossia Bank will soon have new management, a source close to Yury Kovalchuk said, naming Dmitry Lebedev as the future head of the bank. Representatives of Rossia declined to comment Friday, Lebedev couldnt be reached for comment. In North-West Center, they promised to deliver the respective news release soon.

Rossia was set up in 1990 by a division of the Leningrad District Committee of the Communist Party. The business interests of Vladimir Yakunin (todays president of Russian Railways), Andrey Fursenko (minister of education), Vitaly Saveliev (deputy economic development minister) could be easily spotted in the bank in 1990s.

Todays holders of Rossia are Yury Kovalchuk (30.395 percent), Dmitry Gorelov (12.583 percent), Nikolay Shamalov (12.583 percent), Severstal Group (7.152 percent), Transoil CIS (9.537 percent). As of October 1, 2005, the bank was scored the 52nd in equity (3 billion rubles) and the 53rd in net asset total (18.8 billion rubles).

The forthcoming appointment of Lebedev to take over the bank of Putins friends is no secret for nearly a month, a source with St. Petersburg financial community said. The appointment is quite logical, as the banks status went up by an order of magnitude in the last couple of years.

Klishin was OK for the former, regional bank. Now the holders need a man with wide connections in the bank community to add to the skills of managing a big banking structure of federal significance, the source said. Dmitry Lebedev, who has amassed the required experience in the St. Petersburg Department of CBR and MENATEP St. Petersburg Bank is perfect for the office.

All the Article in Russian as of Mar. 27, 2006

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