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Arm Named Sole Pension Depository
The Moscow Times
August 28, 2003
The Finance Ministry named a
state-owned company the sole depository for pension funds Wednesday,
leading some to question the seriousness of the government's pension
A subsidiary of Vneshtorgbank, United
Depository Co., or ODK, will hold pension savings accounts for those
Russians who choose an asset manager, Deputy Finance Minister Bella
Zlatkis told reporters. ODK will oversee investments made by companies
that are given the right to manage pensions after those firms are
announced Sept. 8, she said.
Pension accounts for those who do not
choose an asset manager by Oct. 15 will automatically be channeled to
Wednesday's decision will give ODK
control over some 40 billion rubles ($1.33 billion) in pension savings.
Some experts criticized the contest.
"It's a farce and a slap in the
face of [pension] reform," said Pyotr Lanskov, head of the
Infrastructure Institute, a research arm of PARTAD, a professional
association of depositories.
ODK "was set to win even before
the contest was announced," he said.
Lanskov added that the criteria were
contrived to give ODK the advantage. For instance, the stipulation that
bidders had to have more than 3 billion rubles ($100 million) worth of
bank guarantees in order to participate in the contest "made no
economic sense," he said.
Andrei Vorontsov, an aide to Zlatkis,
said the Finance Ministry was only following rules approved by the
Other observers questioned why there
should be only one depository.
It is too early to talk about competition, Zlatkis said. "We'll see how it works the first year."