By Stelios Orphanides
Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, the Russian businessman who until recently was one of Bank of Cyprus’s major shareholders who also served as its vice chairman, said that the acquisition of Russia’s Uniastrum did more damage to the bank than bad loans, and ultimately led to its bankruptcy.
“The situation with the purchase of Uniastrum was unique,” Strzhalkovsky said in an interview to Russia’s RBK Daily. “The most brilliant people converged on the one side, and the most stupid on the other”.
Bank of Cyprus which regards the disposal of Uniastrum a top priority, attributed a loss of €269m from discontinued operations to Uniastrum alone in the fourth quarter of 2014.