Ukraine's Privatbank issues $5.5 billion claim in Cyprus against ex-owners

KIEV, April 3 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s largest lender, state-run PrivatBank, said on Friday, it had filed a new $5.5 billion claim in the Cypriot courts against its former owners.

The bank said in a statement it was seeking damages in respect of schemes bearing all the hallmarks of fraud and money laundering which the bank alleges were perpetrated by ex-shareholders.

The government took PrivatBank into state hands in 2016 as part of a donor-backed clean-up of the finance system, saying that shady lending practices under then-major-owner Ihor Kolomoisky had driven the bank close to insolvency.

Kolomoisky denies wrongdoing and disputes the central bank’s characterisation of PrivatBank’s finances at the time. (Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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