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Montenegro's c-bank suspends payments by troubled Atlas Banka, Invest Banka

Author Radomir Ralev
Montenegro's c-bank suspends payments by troubled Atlas Banka, Invest Banka Source: Central Bank of Montenegro

PODGORICA (Montenegro), December 10 (SeeNews) - Montenegro's central bank CBCG said on Monday it imposed a 45-day moratorium on all payments by troubled Atlas Banka [MNG:ATBA] and Invest Banka [MNG:IBMN] to depositors and other creditors.

The payment of salaries and other personal income, health and life insurance compensations, as well as recurring costs for the functioning of the banks is excluded from the temporary suspension, Montenegro's central bank said in a statement. 

During the moratorium, the central bank will undertake activities necessary for the continuation of the operation of the banks and the protection of their assets. Therefore, the central bank hopes that depositors will show understanding, CBCG said.

The central bank will prepare reports on the financial condition of Atlas Banka and Invest Banka and will issue proposals for solving their difficulties during the moratorium.

The central bank also said it will hold a news conference on Tuesday to explain the reasons for placing the two lenders under its temporary administration.

On Friday, the central bank said it was putting Atlas Banka and Invest Banka under temporary administration due to their poor financial condition after audit results showed that the capital of the two lenders does not comply with the minimum risk requirements.

The combined market share of the two banks is lower than 6%, central bank governor Radoje Zugic said last week. A total of 16 banks are currently active in Montenegro.

In October, Atlas Banka said it completed a 1.369 million euro ($1.562 million) capital hike as part of its debt restructuring strategy. After the completion of the increase, the total capital of the bank amounts to 32.028 million euro, and the total number of shares is 64,056, Atlas Banka said. The loan portfolio of the bank amounted to 146.1 million euro, whereas its deposit portfolio totalled 218.4 million euro at the end of September, according to central bank data.

Invest Banka had a loan portfolio of 29.4 million euro and deposits of 37.9 million euro at the end of September. The capital of the bank amounted to 5.6 million euro.

($ = 0.876165 euro)