An activist shareholder at Russian bank VTB
has called for an investigation into allegations that its leasing
arm bought 30 Chinese-made drilling rigs in 2007 for more than they
were worth, it was reported.

According to a report in The Moscow Times,
Alexei Navalny, a lawyer and minority shareholder in the bank,
accused VTB Leasing of buying the rigs for $160 million
(126 million) more than the amount on the
manufacturer’s price list.

He is now said to be calling on VTB’s chief
internal auditor, Mattias Warnig, to look into the deal or face
enquiries from financial and judicial authorities in the UK.

The bank’s depositary receipts are traded on
the London Stock Exchange, meaning it is subject to British
business conduct laws, Navalny said.

VTB chief Andrei Kostin is said to have told
the company’s board at a closed-door meeting that no evidence of a
crime was found by authorities.

Claire Hack

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