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September 23, 2022

Russia draws up list of foreign banks that will need Putin’s approval to sell assets

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Russian authorities have prepared a list of foreign banks that will require President Vladimir Putin’s approval to sell their local assets, Reuters has reported. 

Russia Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev shared the information at a banking conference in the city of Kazan.

Moiseev told the conference that the list was prepared by the finance ministry and the Central Bank of Russia. 

Earlier this year, the US and its allies imposed severe sanctions targeting the Russian banking industry, among others. 

The sanctions came in response to Moscow’s decision to invade Ukraine. 

In July this year, Moiseyev said: “Our state-owned banks, which are under sanctions, and our banks in general that are under sanctions, have had quite big problems with debottlenecking at their banks located abroad.”

Until the situation improves, no foreign banks in Russia will be allowed to sell their assets, the minister had said, adding that even if requests are received, they will be rejected. 

Shortly after the Russian government’s announcement to block banks from exiting Russia, HSBC reached an agreement with Expobank to shutter its operations there. 

During the banking event this week, Moiseev said the finance ministry was not approached by Expobank regarding the acquisition of Russian assets from a foreign lender.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Izvestia, Analytical Credit Rating Agency (ACRA) CEO Mikhail Sukhov said that in the coming 18 months, around 50 banks will quit Russian markets, Tass has reported.

“About a dozen banks will leave the market by the end of the year when the supervisory practice is restored, and another 30-40 players will leave by the end of the next year. It is difficult to project such stories, but I believe 50 banks will quit the market in the coming year and a half due to various objective reasons,” Sukhov was quoted by the news agency as saying.

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