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Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has withdrawn its ‘CCC’ long-term and ‘C’ short-term counterparty credit ratings on Russian bank Menatep St Petersburg (MSPb), and removed the ratings from CreditWatch, where they had been placed on December 11, 2003.

“We have withdrawn our ratings due to lack of sufficient information to assess MSPb’s credit quality,” says Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Ekaterina Trofimova.

Legal and tax disputes between the government and the bank’s management and owners have damaged MSPb’s franchise. The negative impact of this has been partially offset by continued support for MSPb from other entities in the Yukos-Menatep group, notably Bank Trust (not rated), manifested through management control and increased funding.

MSPb is part of the banking pole of the Yukos-Menatep group and is owned by IFA Menatep (not rated). Bank Trust, a Yukos-Menatep group bank, specialised in investment banking, took control of MSPb in the fourth quarter of 2003. Currently, the two banks have common treasury, credit, and risk management functions. MSPb has received significant funding support from Bank Trust during the past several months.