(Bloomberg) -- Russia began moves to compel the country’s largest private bank to redomicile by seeking to suspend the ownership rights of its foreign-registered shareholders.

The Finance Ministry on Wednesday announced it had filed an application to the Arbitration Court of Moscow Region to suspend the corporate rights of Cyprus-based ABH Financial Limited in Alfa-Bank AO, owned by billionaire Mikhail Fridman and his partners.

Alfa Bank was among six “economically significant” companies that were registered abroad and could be forced to redomicile in Russia, under a decree from Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin published last month. 

The ministry said it was also seeking to suspend the rights of foreign-based owners of AlfaInsurance JSC, one of Russia’s largest insurers.

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Suspension of the foreign holders’ rights “will eliminate obstacles to the activities of these organizations,” it said in the statement.

The measure would deprive foreign holding companies of dividends and the ability to sell their stakes in the businesses. 

Under a law signed by President Vladimir Putin last year, a court can order the transfer of company ownership to a new Russian-registered entity with foreign holders offered compensation for the value of their assets or allowed to reclaim their rights “at some point” in Russia. 

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