Russian court bans UBS, Credit Suisse from subsidiary disposals

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Moscow court has banned UBS and its recently-acquired Swiss rival Credit Suisse from disposing of shares in their Russian subsidiaries, court documents showed, after a request from Zenit Bank which is concerned about losing out if they exit Russia.

Zenit told the court in a statement that it believed the Russian subsidiaries of UBS and Credit Suisse were preparing to terminate their activities in Russia, which would leave it at risk of a loss relating to a loan made in October 2021.

The Russian bank joined an agreement to provide a syndicated loan to Luxembourg-based agricultural firm Intergrain, for which Credit Suisse was the credit agent, the document showed.

In November 2021, Zenit transferred $20 million to Intergrain, but after Western sanctions were imposed on Zenit, Credit Suisse notified the Russian bank that it would not transfer payments to it from Intergrain.

Credit Suisse and UBS, which bought its smaller rival in June, declined to comment.

Laws introduced after Russia despatched troops to Ukraine in February last year have made presidential approval necessary for banks to cut ties with their local business.

The court documents showed that Zenit Bank had filed for interim measures, asking the court to seize funds belonging to UBS and Credit Suisse, and prohibiting the disposal of shares.

Zenit’s request to seize funds was not granted and a further court hearing is scheduled to be held on Sept. 14.

A Moscow court last week sequestered Goldman Sachs assets in Russia including its 5% stake in Detsky Mir, Russia’s largest toy retailer, at the request of Otkritie Bank, which said the U.S. bank owed it 615 million roubles, court documents showed.

(Reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Alexander Smith)