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The Austrian Reserve Bank of India maintains its assessment that the Strabag deal is sanctions compliant – April 2, 2024 at 7:32 p.m.

The Austrian Reserve Bank of India maintains its assessment that the Strabag deal is sanctions compliant – April 2, 2024 at 7:32 p.m.

Austria's Raiffeisen International Bank, the largest Western bank in Russia, said on Tuesday it stood by its assessment that buying a stake in Austria's Strabag Bank, long owned by a Russian businessman, complies with sanctions laws.

However, the bank also said the purchase of the Strabag stake, which has been closely scrutinized by US government officials, requires “extensive compliance reviews” following the recent stake transfer.

Raiffeisen's (RBI) revelations on Tuesday are the latest development in its attempt to unfreeze its stake in a complex deal to free up some of its billions stuck in Russia. Reuters reported on March 20 that US Treasury officials expressed concerns about the deal in meetings with the bank and Austrian authorities.

In December, the Reserve Bank of India announced that it intended to buy Strabag's stake for €1.5 billion from Russia-based Rasperia Trading Ltd., a company controlled by sanctioned Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska.

Around the same time, Strabag said Iliadis was buying JSC Rasperia, a deal that was announced completed last week.

Russian corporate filings last week show Iliadis was founded on July 12, 2023, but ownership is unclear.

“Though this latest transaction has no connection with the announced acquisition of STRABAG SE shares by RBI, it does require extensive compliance checks,” the RBI said.

Rasperia's new ownership structure should provide the RBI with assurances that no sanctioned persons or entities will benefit directly or indirectly from the Strabag deal, it said.

The Reserve Bank of India had initially said it wanted to complete the deal by the end of March.

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