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Russia seizes assets of European banks _ Deutsche Bank and UniCredit

A Russian court has ordered the seizure of Deutsche Bank and UniCredit’s assets in Russia, according to court documents. Following Moscow’s invasion of Kyiv in 2022, European banks have largely withdrawn from Russia.

On May 16, a court in St. Petersburg ruled to seize 239 million euros ($260 million) from Deutsche Bank and around 463 million euros ($504 million) worth of assets from Italy’s UniCredit.

The court’s decisions were in response to a request from RusKhimAlians, which had planned to build a major gas processing and liquefaction plant in partnership with German company Linde.

Linde pulled out of the project due to Russia’s military actions, prompting RusKhimAlians to sue UniCredit and Deutsche Bank, both of which were guarantors of the project.

UniCredit was one of the European banks most exposed to Russia when Moscow initiated its campaign in Ukraine in 2022, operating a significant local subsidiary. Although preliminary talks for a sale began last year, they have not progressed.

Chief Executive Andrea Orcel expressed UniCredit’s desire to exit Russia but argued that giving away an operation worth 3 billion euros would not align with the spirit of Western sanctions against Moscow over the war.

Despite these challenges, UniCredit has been gradually reducing its exposure to Russia, improving its capital-to-risk-weighted-assets ratio from 15% to 16% over the past year.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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