VEB Buys 75% of Ukraine's Prominvestbank for $150M

Vneshekonombank, the state-run development bank, bought a majority stake in Ukraine's Prominvestbank, the country's sixth-biggest bank by assets, after two businessmen failed to take control.

VEB bought a 75 percent stake in the Kiev-based lender, Prominvestbank said Thursday in a statement on its web site.

VEB paid 1.3 billion hryvnias ($150 million) for the stake and is expected to inject another 7 billion hryvnias in Prominvestbank, according to the press release.

Ukraine is among Europe's emerging economies that needed support from the International Monetary Fund to weather the global financial crisis as investors dumped developing-market assets in a flight to safety. The central bank took control of Prominvestbank in October after a run on deposits. Stabilizing the lender is a requirement for the IMF aid.

Ukrainian brothers Andriy and Serhiy Klyuevs wanted to buy 68 percent of Prominvestbank and had pledged to spend 900 million hryvnias to recapitalize the lender by Nov. 24. After the deadline was delayed twice, the Central Bank considered seeking government money and attracting private investors.

The government and President Viktor Yushchenko sought to nationalize the lender.

Ukraine's central bank injected 7 billion hryvnias into Prominvestbank at the end of last year.