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Ukraine to nationalise Sense Bank from its Russian owners

a man walks past a branch of sense bank in central kyiv
A man walks past a branch of Sense Bank

Ukraine’s central bank said it will nationalise Russian-owned Sense Bank, one of the country’s top commercial banks, and put it under temporary administration on Friday.

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) said in a statement on Thursday it decided to “withdraw from the market the systemically important” bank and submitted a proposal to the government on the state’s participation in the process.

The “safe” transfer will not be noticeable to clients, NBU Governor Andriy Pyshnyi said.

Sense Bank, with 3 million depositors, posted losses of 7 billion hryvnias ($189.75 million) in 2022, central bank said.

Mikhail Fridman has a 32.86% stake in ABH Holdings S.A., the majority owner of Sense Bank, while Petr Aven holds 12.4%, the bank said on its website.

The billionaires are long-term partners in oil, banking and retail businesses who face Western sanctions over their alleged ties to the Kremlin following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

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