Saeima commission reports on Citadele sell-off

The parliamentary investigation commission probing the controversial sale of state-owned "Citadele" bank on Monday adopted its final report, not previously available to the public.

The report was adopted by nine votes to one with Karlis Sadurskis (Unity) voting against it.

Meanwhile, Martins Bondars (Regional Alliance) said that he will submit his own view on the report and will deliver a speech and his comments at the plenary session of Saeima when the report is presented.

The sell-off of the state-held 75 percent stake in "Citadele" bank was completed on April 20, 2015, with "Citadele Holdings LLC", a subsidiary of "Ripplewood Advisors LLC", and a group of international investors, becoming shareholders in the bank.

The price paid for the state-held stake was EUR 74.7 million. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) retained its 25 percent stake in the bank.

The sell-off deal has been criticized, saying that the price was too low. The parliamentary investigation commission was established to investigate the arrangements and transparency during the sell-off process.

The Latvian Privatization Agency's board chairman Vladimirs Loginovs said in an interview with LETA earlier that the price of the sell-off deal had been just one of the government's goals. Other goals were to diversify the investors base in the banking sector, attract a stable and growth-oriented invests, and develop the stock market.

He said that the sell-off procedure had been organized in line with common procedures and using professional consultants in the form of Societe Generale.

The European Commission had set a requirement that the bank should be sold by the end of 2014 and was not ready to extend the deadline.

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