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Central Bank Wants Foreign Currency Accounts Closed

The Central Bank has asked commercial banks to close their foreign currency correspondent accounts, scrapping another crisis-period tool.

The Central Bank launched the accounts in late 2008 in a bid to discourage local banks fr om shifting money out of the country at a time when companies and individuals alike ditched the devaluing ruble amid falling oil prices.

But a strengthening ruble and plentiful liquidity have enabled the Central Bank to start unwinding crisis-time support measures. "Due to changes in financial markets and the end of validity of the Bank of Russia's recommendation on lim iting foreign assets," the Central Bank asked commercial lenders to close their foreign currency correspondent accounts by June 1, 2010. The letter, dated April 12, was published on Wednesday.

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