Developer Mikhail Babel owes $200 million to his own bank

Developer Mikhail Babel owes $200 million to his own bank
Mikhail Babel

A bank financed construction projects of its shareholder that were believed to be high-risk.

Located in a pretrial detention center head of NBM group Mikhail Babel was one of the major borrowers of troubled bank Peresvet. It turned out that the ventures belonging to the businessman have previously influenced a ‘hole’ in the bank.

According to RBC, approximately in 2008 they became a part of the bank's shareholders and received about 25% of shares. At the same time another 9.3% of shares were purchased by Babel's longtime partner Amir Almukhametov, who heads one of the NBM subsidiaries – Globinveststroy (a construction firm).

Babel was detained in November last year on charges of swindling for double sale of apartments in housing complex Terletskiy Park. Peresvet also provided loans for this object.

The construction began in the mid-2000s, however in a couple of years, at the height of the 2008 crisis, construction works had to be put on hold. They were resumed only in 2015, but the object has not been put into operation yet. Besides, about half of 60 thousand sq.m. of the residential space belongs to Peresvet and ventures related to Babel. For example, it was Babel who stood security for Gelor company, that was also credited by Peresvet for 230 million rubles ($4 mln). Another interest-holders of Terletskiy Park were companies of Almukhametov that bought real estate worth over 500 million rubles ($8.4 mln).

The bank also financed other projects of its shareholder. As the data of Rosreestr say, some areas where villa community Sedmaya Milya is being built on Novorizhskoe highway, are mortgaged in the bank. The construction initiated by another company of NBM group Passim has not been completed so far. In December 2016 a supervision procedure was commenced in Passim.

The total debt of Babel's companies to Peresvet can amount to 12 billion rubles ($200 mln). Two sources confirmed this information to RBC: a friend of the businessman as well as a conversant close to the company's creditors, who referred to the words of the former president of the bank Alexander Shvets. At the same time one of the developers who cooperated with NBM voices a smaller sum – 10 billion rubles ($168 mln). Dmitry Korovitsyn, member of Peresvet bank board of directors, also speaks about a sum that is “much less than 12 billions ($200 mln)” in his conversation with RBC. However he does not mention exact figures.

At the beginning of 2016 Moskomstroyinvest suspected the builder of Terletskiy Park of inappropriate use of funds of citizens, and managed to suspend Globinveststroy activity through court action. The issue of winding-up of the company is being considered now. In their turn in early 2017 the capital prosecutor's office resumed the investigation in the old criminal case (as of 2012) under swindling article associated with Terletskiy Park.

In addition, Babel is targeted in another case of inappropriate use of holders' funds of another unfinished object – housing complex Zapadnye Vorota Stolitsy (since 2007 1 of 5 complexes has been commissioned, the shareholders register features 1.2 thousand people). In both cases Babel is suspected of Swindling on an especially large scale (part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code). At the end of the previous year the businessman was declared bankrupt.

In October 2016 Fitch rating agency announced that Peresvet borrowers are connected with its management and shareholders. Fitch considered loans at 12 billion rubles ($200 mln) as high-risk. Shortly after this news bank's president Alexander Shvets vanished into space. His whereabouts are still unidentified.

The Central Bank introduced a temporary administration in the bank. Currently the size of the ‘hole’ exceeds 100 billion rubles ($1.7 bln). It is worth mentioning that the Russian Orthodox Church is the major shareholder of Peresvet.

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