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Naftabank's License Revoked

The Central Bank has shut down a second lender in less than two weeks, revoking the license of  Naftabank on Thursday, a week after closing Master Bank in connection with "suspicious transactions."

Similar to Master Bank, which was closed last Wednesday, major Moscow-based lender Naftabank is accused of involvement "in carrying out suspicious transactions in large volumes to give out cash," the Central Bank's website reported Thursday.

"Managers and owners of Naftabank took actions to siphon off highly liquid assets from the credit organization," the Central Bank said.

The financial regulator invalidated the license of Naftabank, a private lender opened in the Dagestani capital of Makhachkala in 1990, over its failure to abide by federal laws regulating banking activities and Central Bank's regulations, as well as a more than 15-day delay in providing a monthly financial report, among other things.

Naftabank's clients will start receiving compensation by Dec. 12, the Deposit Insurance Agency said on its website. Deposits of up to 700,000 rubles ($21,000) will be paid back in full in one lump sum, while the rest of the money will be paid back in the longer term.

It was not immediately clear how much money the bank owed to depositors.

The latest license revocation marks part of the Central Bank's effort to tighten oversight of the country's hundreds of banks, many of which are closely linked to specific businesses.

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