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Russia to review foreign bank sales case-by case, central bank says

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: National flag flies over the Russian Central Bank headquarters in Moscow

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian's central bank will review deals by foreign banks to sell their Russian operations on a case-by-case basis, the governor Elvira Nabiullina said on Friday, as Moscow has signalled it would block any future exit attempts in sanctions retaliation.

The finance ministry said last week that Russia would block the sale of foreign banks' Russian subsidiaries while Russian banks abroad cannot function normally.

Italy's UniCredit and Intesa, U.S. Citi and Austria's Raiffeisen continue to search for options to exit Russia while others such as Societe Generale and HSBC have found a way out.

"Each decision will be taken individually," Nabiullina told a briefing when asked on the finance ministry's proposal, adding that Western regulators' position towards units of Russian banks abroad will be taken into account when domestic deals are reviewed.

Sources told Reuters this month that Russia's central bank is resisting domestic calls to take over the running of foreign lenders' local businesses, concerned in part that this could prompt depositors to pull out funds.

"Currently, there are no grounds for introducing external management at foreign banks' units," Nabiullina said on Friday.

Credit Suisse has been banned from disposing of shares in its Russian unit by a Moscow court which also ordered the seizure of 10 million euros from the Swiss bank after it failed to repay a loan to a bank hit by sanctions.

(Reporting by Reuters; editing by David Evans)

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