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Journalists question restructuring of Privatbank's loan portfolio

The borrowers must repay loans by 1 July.

Journalists question restructuring of Privatbank's loan portfolio
Photo: Photo: freeze-frame video

The journalists of the investigative TV programme "Schemes", a joint project of state-run UA:First TV and Radio Liberty, got hold of a report by the auditing company Ernst&Young on the financial and economic activities of Privatbank. According to the document, Privatbank, while restructuring its loan portfolio, transferred the loans of its 170 previous borrowers to over 30 new borrowers, who now owe 110bn hryvnyas to the bank. The Schemes journalists found out, however, that these borrowers have all signs of fictitiousness.

In particular, three of these companies that owe the bank 9.5bn hryvnyas are registered in the city of Boryspil. The office of one of them, Argotrade Ltd, is located in the building of a car wash. The shabby office is currently owned by another company. Another firm has the address of mass registration. Fito-Prom Evolution, which owes Privatbank almost 0.5bn hryvnyas, also rents a room with two tables and a bunch of chairs.

Lex Grant, which borrowed over 4bn hryvnyas from Privatbank, is registered in an apartment of an ordinary Kyiv apartment building in Kyiv. The apartment looks uninhabited, according to the journalists.

Overall, the journalists failed to reach any founder or CEO of the firms issued with billions in loans – neither over the phone nor personally

The National Bank of Ukraine said the borrowers must pay off the debts before 1 July.