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Ameritrade Limits Services for Russian Clients

U.S. online broker TD Ameritrade has restricted services provided to clients from a number of countries, including Russia, Interfax reported, citing a letter sent by Tom Bradley, TD Ameritrade's president for retail distribution.

TD Ameritrade said in the letter that it is conducting a new business policy that could affect the accounts of the letter recipients. The company said it had decided to stop opening new accounts or conducting new transactions for clients in Russia.

Russian customers will only be allowed to liquidate positions, the broker said.

From time to time, the company restricts activity originating in other countries for business reasons, including risk management, TD Ameritrade spokeswoman Christina Goethe said, adding that the company's policy is not to disclose the specific reasons.

The decision may be due to market manipulation or schemes of dubious legality initiated by Russian customers, Gazeta.ru reported, citing a representative of an unspecified brokerage.

U.S. brokers have a negative attitude toward Russian investors because Russians often fail to identify the origin of their funds, a portfolio manager at the New York Stock Exchange said, Gazeta.ru reported.

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