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Putin wants certain banks to work with state firms

May 30, 2014, 15:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, May 30. /ITAR-TASS/PRIME/. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank to create a closed list of banks that will have the right to cooperate with state-owned companies and oblige the companies to create their treasury services, business daily Vedomosti reported on Friday citing three government officials.

The Russian president did give several orders aimed to protect the financial system and the interests of state companies given the current international environment, Dmitry Peskov, the president’s press secretary, said without elaborating. The Finance Ministry and the Central Bank declined to comment.

The draft is supposed to tighten control over strategic companies by defining the criteria of a strategic company and creating a list of operations to be regulated. The obligation to keep their money only in certain banks will be placed on major state companies, such as gas giant Gazprom, oil major Rosneft, oil pipeline monopoly Transneft, Russian Railways, Aeroflot national carrier, RusHydro, Russia’s largest hydropower firm, state defense conglomerate Rostec, state nuclear corporation Rosatom and others, one of the officials said.

Russian branches of foreign banks can enter the list if they meet the selection criteria, but foreign banks themselves cannot be on the list, another official added.

Almost every major state company has its operating accounts in Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank and Alfa-Bank, with 13 major state companies holding 1.8 trillion rubles in Russian banks, Oleg Solntsev from Center for Macroeconomic Analysis and Short-Term Forecasting said.

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