28 Jun 2022 17:16

London court discharges New Stream's liabilities to Sberbank, but denies trader compensation

MOSCOW. June 28 (Interfax) - The London Court of International Arbitration has rendered its final decision on New Stream Trading AG's lawsuit against Sberbank of Russia and its Swiss subsidiary Sberbank (Switzerland) AG, the Swiss petroleum products trader said in a press release.

The court "found that Sberbank caused the bankruptcy of Antipinskiy Oil Refinery (ANPZ) by deliberate and coordinated actions" and "dismissed the efforts by Sberbank to accuse New Stream Trading AG (NST) or Russia-based entities of [Dmitry Mazurov's] Novy Potok of causing the refinery's bankruptcy," the press release said.

Sberbank said that issues concerning the bankruptcy of the Russian company are exclusively within the competence of Russian courts. The Tyumen Regional Arbitration Court found that the reason for the Antipinskiy Oil Refinery's bankruptcy was ineffective management by the previous owners, as well as a high debt load, Sberbank said.

"London's commercial arbitration fully denied New Stream Trading AG collection of losses from the bank in its decision and found no evidence of the corporate raiding that New Stream Trading AG accused the bank of," Sberbank's press service told Interfax.

The Antipinskiy Oil Refinery's bankruptcy led to the destruction of the company's business and prevented fulfillment of debt service obligations to Sberbank by the refinery and the trader, according to New Stream Trading.

The court "has set aside or discharged all of NST's liabilities vis-a-vis Sberbank of Russia and Sberbank (Switzerland) AG, whether those arise under guarantees or loans. The discharged or set aside guarantees amounted to more than $1 billion. The discharged loans amounted to more than $50 million," the press release said.

The court "has also ordered Sberbank to reimburse 85% of NST's legal fees," it said.

"The award has not been challenged and is therefore final," the press release said.

"New Stream Trading AG was unable to refute concealment by the refinery's management and owner of information about the off-balance sheet multibillion guarantees accepted by the ANPZ and the withdrawal of money," Sberbank said.

"The trial in this case was not public, and New Stream Trading AG's breach of duty of confidentiality points to an attempt by the company to manipulate public opinion," it said.

New Stream Trading "filed a claim against Sberbank of Russia and Sberbank (Switzerland) AG in the cantonal court of the canton of Zug, Switzerland" in May in order to continue the pursuit of protecting its rights, the press release said.

New Stream Trading has lost a number of court battles at various levels of jurisdiction in Russia.