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Russia’s central bank offers crisis support to finance firms

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk past the Central Bank headquarters in Moscow, Russia February 11, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

LONDON (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank announced on Tuesday a series of steps to help financial market players such as private pension funds and management companies cope with the current “crisis situation,” including relaxing some regulations.

Russia’s financial markets have been thrown into turmoil by severe economic sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine.

The central bank has more than doubled its key interest rate to 20% and provided extra liquidity to banks, and the government has rolled out some support measures, but the rouble has tanked and securities like bonds have sold off heavily.

In a statement on the Telegram messaging app, the central bank said its new measures included adapting regulatory requirements to the new economic conditions, waiving penalties for some regulatory violations if they are linked to the current market situation, and extending timeframes for market players to implement some rules.

It added they were part of efforts to lower the regulatory and supervisory burden.

The central bank restricted stock market trading all last week, before public holidays on Monday and Tuesday. On Tuesday it said stock trading on the Moscow Exchange would remain largely suspended again on Wednesday but the foreign currency market would open at 10 a.m. (0700 GMT).

Russia’s central bank offers crisis support to finance firms

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