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Berlin is considering a Reserve Bank of India deal with Russia

Berlin is considering a Reserve Bank of India deal with Russia

The German Ministry of Economic Affairs is now examining a planned Russian business venture involving Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI). As Handelsblatt reported yesterday, the investment review has begun. It will also be checked whether the planned share purchase violates applicable sanctions.

Specifically, the problem is that the Reserve Bank of India wants to buy shares in Austrian construction group Strabag through its Russian subsidiary. Until recently, these shares were owned by a sanctioned Russian businessman, Oleg Deripaska, who then sold them to another company whose role is unclear. Through this deal, the Reserve Bank of India hopes to be able to bring part of its billion-dollar profits frozen in a Russian subsidiary to Austria.

The Reserve Bank of India is still examining itself

However, RBI CEO Johan Strobel confirmed the previous day when presenting quarterly results that his bank was still studying the planned deal and could also cancel the deal. “We will not proceed with the acquisition of STRABAG shares by Raiffeisen Bank Russia if we believe there is a risk of sanctions or other negative consequences from any authorities,” he said, referring to the US authorities in particular.

Strabag has several German subsidiaries. Therefore, according to the report, the German Ministry of Economic Affairs could also take action in this case. If the German government deems the deal jeopardizes national security, it could block the potential deal or impose conditions.

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