China News Agency, Moscow, March 2 (Reporter Tian Bing) Russia's largest bank, Sberbank, issued a statement on the 2nd, announcing its decision to withdraw from the European market.

Since Russia took military action in Ukraine, the United States and the West have intensively announced a series of unprecedented sanctions against Russia, including targeting Russia's financial sector.

  The statement said that in the current environment, the bank's subsidiary banks suffered abnormal capital outflows, and the safety of branches and employees was also threatened. Sberbank has decided to withdraw from the European market.

  The statement also stated that the bank's subsidiary banks still have a large amount of high-quality capital, and customer deposits are guaranteed in accordance with local laws and regulations.

"The assets of the branch are sufficient to pay for liquidation with all depositors".

According to the statement, Sberbank will no longer be able to provide liquidity to its European subsidiaries under the order of the Central Bank of Russia.

  According to Russian media reports, Austrian financial regulators have announced that at the request of the European Central Bank, Sberbank Europe AG, the European branch of Sberbank, will be banned from continuing commercial operations.

Earlier this week, the Czech National Bank also initiated procedures to revoke the business license of another subsidiary of the bank, Sberbank CZ.

  It is reported that "Sberbank Europe AG" is a financial group that includes all the assets of Sberbank in Eastern and Central Europe and other regions. The group's shares are all owned by Sberbank. Its headquarter is located in Vienna and operates in 8 European countries. (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia and Germany) with representative offices.

  On the same day, VTB, Russia's second-largest bank, announced that it would raise interest rates on the bank's savings products, including foreign currency deposits, with immediate effect.

The maximum annual interest rate on ruble deposits and savings accounts was raised to 21%, 8% on dollar deposits and 7% on euro deposits.

The bank also stressed that it will continue to serve customers as usual, with all branches and self-service machines operating without restrictions and all deposit and savings accounts fully accessible to customers.

  Earlier, Sberbank also announced an increase in the ruble and foreign currency deposit rates from the 2nd.

The maximum annual interest rate is 21% for ruble deposits and 6% for dollar deposits.

  This is the second hike in interest rates on savings products by the two banks in recent days.

The Central Bank of Russia had previously decided to significantly raise the benchmark interest rate to 20% from February 28 to support Russia's financial and price stability.

  On the morning of the 2nd, the Central Bank of Russia announced that the Moscow Stock Exchange would not resume stock trading on the same day, and the trading decision on the 3rd would be announced before 9:00 Moscow time on the same day.

  In addition, from February 28, Russia has suspended securities dealers from accepting orders from foreign investors to sell Russian securities.

  Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a presidential decree on supplementary temporary measures to safeguard financial stability on the 1st, aimed at maintaining Russia's financial stability.

The presidential decree stipulates that, starting from March 2, Russian residents must obtain a license from the Russian Government Foreign Investment Supervision Committee when they provide ruble loans to persons from "unfriendly countries" or conduct securities and real estate transactions with them; when conducting securities transactions, they must obtain a license. With the permission of the Russian Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance, it is carried out in designated exchanges; it is prohibited to carry foreign currency cash equivalent to more than 10,000 US dollars from Russia.

  According to a new poll by the Russian Internet company "Rambler & Co", nearly half of Russians said they would not adjust their financial plans after the United States imposed sanctions on Russia.

The poll data shows that 58% of respondents will not take any action on their bank accounts, 33% plan to open a new deposit account and 9% are considering withdrawing cash from the account.

Additionally, 37% try to minimize unnecessary expenses and 29% adjust their personal budget.

Seventy-four percent of respondents said they were unaffected by impulse purchases, and 16 percent were considering buying commodities but had yet to decide what to buy.

(over)

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