KOMMERSANT. Petrocommerce's takeover by Bank FC Otkritie, which was to be wrapped up after March 20, was postponed due to the capital uplift program via federal loan bonds (OFZs). The consolidation of the holding's banking assets was put on hold because of the risks of losing some of government aid to be provided to Petrocommerce, business daily Kommersant writes.

"There will be no merger until Petrcommerce gets Rub 9.6 bln of federal loan bonds as a capital injection as part of the government's bank support program," said the newspaper's source familiar with the matter. "The point is that as part of the capital uplift program the money is to be given to a specific legal entity, and the takeover of a bank by another means that the bank to be taken over will vanish as a legal entity and will lose government aid," the paper's another source specified.

All in all, Otkritie Holding's banks lay claims to get a big share of government aid among all private banks (Rub 65.2 bln or 7.8% of the government program). Petrocommerce's prompt takeover would slash this amount by nearly 15%. Furthermore, of Otkritie Group's banks for the time being only Petrocommerce's application has been considered and approved. Applications filed by the group's two other banks (Bank FC Otkritie and Khanty-Mansiysk Otkritie Bank) have yet to be considered.

Petrocommerce previously gave its clients notice that it would be folded into the parent company of Otkritie Bank's banking assets after March 20. Later on a relevant message was removed from the website of Petrocommerce, but remained on the one of the Association of Russian Banks. The initial takeover period is also confirmed by the fact that a notice sent out to Petrocommerce's employees, positions of which were planned to be downsized, showed March 23 as their last day of employment. "Right now those who have not yet been dismissed were offered to work for an indefinite period," an employee of the bank pointed out.

Otkritie Holding declined to comment on the reasons behind the delay. "An important stage of Petrocommerce's integration with Otkritie's unit ended last week, with 99.5% of its shares bought by Otkritie Holding," the lending institution pointed out. Other procedures required to complete integration, which provides for folding Petrocommerce into Bank FC Otkritie in the second quarter of 2015, are presently under way, said the bank.

By this time Petrocommerce would most likely be provided with federal loan bonds. As Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev told Kommersant, the process of earmarking funds to banks, which participate in the OFZ-based capital uplift program, would kick off as early as this week. During this period applications of banks, which have not yet been approved, would also be reviewed. As a result, having postponed reorganization the group will be able to get an initially planned amount.