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08/05/1998 15:36:59 Russia Menatep offers to buy Tokobank until Aug 20

MENATEP said in a statement that the offer was valid for 14 days, or until

August 20. It also said it was ready to support any rescue proposals from other

banks, if they turned out to be more interesting, even before the expiry time of

its offer.

The central bank first imposed its temporary administration on Tokobank on

May 8, citing liquidity and management problems. It had planned for Bank Moskvy

to rescue Tokobank by buying a controlling stake and making an investment in its

capital. But Bank Moskvy refused, saying the necessary investment was much

higher than it had been led to believe.

Russia's banking community is worried that the situation at Tokobank, one of

the top 20 banks, will damage the local banking system as a whole. Tokobank has

one of the biggest foreign credit portfolios and has the European Bank for

Reconstruction and Development among its shareholders.

Tokobank's Supervisory Council has said it is considering holding a tender

for a strategic investor. UNEXIMBank, another big Russian bank, and a federal

investment company Gosinvest have already made offers to help Tokobank back on

its feet.

((Moscow Newsroom, +7095 941-8520 moscow.newsroom@reuters.com))

REUTERS JST BK

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