22 Aug 2023 19:38

Russian govt, Central Bank plan to launch frozen assets exchange - Siluanov

MOSCOW. Aug 22 (Interfax) - The government and Central Bank of Russia have drafted a presidential decree to launch the exchange of frozen assets belonging to Russian and foreign investors, with around 100 billion rubles on accounts to be unblocked at first, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said at a meeting of the council for strategic development and national projects, chaired by President Vladimir Putin.

"Another task to restore confidence in the financial market is to help our citizens whose assets are frozen in unfriendly countries. Today, more than 3.5 million Russian citizens have had 1.5 trillion rubles of assets frozen. And, taking into account the decisions you have backed, we envisage launching the exchange of the assets of our citizens for the assets of foreign investors, which have accumulated in Type C accounts," Siluanov said.

"At the first stage, we plan to unblock about 100 billion rubles on accounts held by retail investors. And here the government and the Central Bank have prepared the corresponding draft decree and would like you to support this decision too," he said.

The Central Bank is considering various options for exchanging the assets of investors that are frozen in Russia and the EU and considers this possible, Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina said in June.

CBR first deputy governor Vladimir Chistyukhin said later that the CBR is working out an arrangement to sell the frozen foreign securities of Russian investors to nonresidents at a premium, and it proposes to use funds in Type C accounts for settlements. The Central Bank is working on a mechanism to buy out the blocked assets, and retail investors should be prioritized in this process, CBR deputy governor Filipp Gabuniya has said.