15 February 2011
The Moscow Times publishes Grigory Chernyshov’s commentary on PIK Group case

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London Bourse Halts Trading of PIK Shares

The London Stock Exchange has stopped trade in depositary notes of housing developer PIK Group on the orders of the British Financial Services Authority, and trading will not resume until the whereabouts is established of 8.6 percent of the group's shares frozen at the request of Nomos Bank.

The Moscow Arbitration Court froze the 42.4 million shares in the account of the Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas as a precautionary measure in Nomos Bank's suit against Maritrade Investment, which belongs to Yury Zhukov, one of the founders of PIK.

During the financial crisis, PIK co-founders Zhukov and Kirill Pisarev sold shares in the company to Suleiman Kerimov and used other shares as collateral for a $262 million loan from Vneshekonombank. Nomos Bank bought that debt in 2009 and began negotiations on its restructuring.

Pisarev agreed to the bank's demands, but Zhukov did not. The bank went to court and froze Zhukov's stock. That decision was reversed on appeal in August on the grounds that no agreement on collateral was made. Zhukov withdrew those shares from VEB.

In the next appeal in the case, the court ruled in favor of Nomos, but the shares were no longer in VEB.

Nomos thinks it has found two-thirds of Zhukov's share package after following it through a series of deals into the Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas account. The Moscow Arbitration Court ruled in its favor on a petition to prohibit operations with the notes in Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, which the owners had received in exchange for the shares.
Before the court had had time to rule, however, almost half of those shares were removed from that company, and the remaining 3.9 percent were sold on MICEX.

Maritrade has no PIK shares now, but it can't be proved that they are no longer in the Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, Grigory Chernyshov, a lawyer with Yegorov, Puginsky, Afanasyev & Partners, said earlier, speaking on behalf of Maritrade.

A source close to PIK said the British regulator made its decision after consulting with PIK itself. Some of the shares in question could have been sold already, and the regulator wanted to avoid problems with investors. PIK shares continue to be traded on MICEX.

By Maria Dranishnikova / Vedomosti

 

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