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Foreign banks’ losses upon withdrawal from Russia totaling $2 billion — newspaper

May 24, 4:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Three banks suffered the biggest losses - the KBC Group of Belgium ($691 million), Barclays Bank PLC ($625 million), and the Bank of Cyprus ($443.8 million)
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© AP Photo/Misha Japaridze

MOSCOW, May 24. /TASS/. Foreign banks that shook off the filial lending organizations in Russia suffered the losses standing at around $2 billion, the daily Izvestia said on Tuesday quoting a research done by the National Rating Agency of Russia (NRA).

"While on January 1, 2012, Russia had 77 banks with a hundred percent foreign capital, their number went down to 66 by January 1, 2016," the article said. It mentioned the banking institutions that suffered the biggest losses - the KBC Group of Belgium ($ 691 million), Barclays Bank PLC ($625 million), and the Bank of Cyprus ($443.8 million).

Four banks fully lost their investment as. They are IPF Investments Limited ($5.9 million), Rabobank ($44.4 million), Svenska Handelsbanken ($53.4 million), and Swedbank ($3.4 million).

These banks failed to find buyers and simply eliminated their Russian divisions.

Karina Artemyeva, the chief of the NRA department for analysis of the financial sector, said Western banks had started withdrawing from Russia after drawing up assessments of the aftermaths of the crisis for this country’s economy and the financial system, Izvestia wrote.

Along with it, she stressed the absence of any practical influence of the Western sanctions against Russia on the process. "Most players took decisions on a withdrawal from Russia before the sanctions and the ones who decided to pull out of here after the spring of 2014 proceeded mostly from economic reasoning," Artemyeva said.

The bankers themselves explain for their decisions by the plans to reorient to new markets and by the toughening of state regulation in Russia. "The financing of filial organizations dropped off the list of priorities for many of them (foreign bankers - TASS) during the crisis," Izvestia said with reference to the NRA analysis.

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