January saw an unusually high capital influx into Russia, according to Sberbank Private Banking. The money was transferred from European banks just before the US Treasury unveiled its blacklist of Russian billionaires.
The amount of capital to Sberbank's corporate and investment branch tripled over the same period during the previous year, according to the head of the department, Evgenya Tyurikova.
“Over the last week of December and at the beginning of January everyone seemed to be impacted by the fact that the sanctions are coming, so let’s put money somewhere,” Tyurikova said, as quoted by Russian daily Vedomosti.
The financial manager hasn’t specified precisely how much money was brought to the department, but she said it was in the hundreds of millions of dollars. All in all, an average basket of the bank’s deep-pocketed clientele grew from $2.3 million to $3.8 million, according to Tyurikova.
Capital inflows were seen mostly from Switzerland, and several transactions were made from Austrian and UK lenders, according to the top manager.
On January 30, the US Treasury published its so-called ‘Kremlin List,’ featuring 200 Russian citizens, including the entire Russian government and numerous prominent businessmen. Though the US has not imposed new sanctions on Russia yet, they will result from the classified report that has been shown to Congress, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said when commenting on the list.
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