April 16, 2019 / 3:07 PM / 5 months ago

Russia needs another $10 bln on banking sector clean-up - Fitch

MOSCOW, April 16 (Reuters) - Russia may need to spend another $10 billion in the next two or three years to continue a banking sector clean-up, which has already required eight times as much, Fitch rating agency said on Tuesday.

Russia started cleaning up its banking sector in 2013 after President Vladimir Putin appointed Elvira Nabiullina as the governor of the central bank.

Since then, the central bank has shut nearly 500 banks, purging the sector plagued by poor corporate governance practices, money laundering and Western sanctions. In 2017 alone, the Bank of Russia spent more than $40 billion bailing out three major lenders.

“In Russia we estimate total clean-up costs to date at about $80 billion, and we believe the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) could spend about another $10 billion in the next two-to-three years, as it finalises the clean-up,” Fitch said.

“Positively, as a result of the clean-up the CBR has managed to effectively stop capital outflows via doubtful transactions,” Fitch said in the report on the CIS banking sector.

The central bank has not immediately replied to a Reuters request for comment.

$1 = 64.2600 roubles Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh Additional reporting by Tatiana Voronova and Elena Fabrichnaya; editing by David Evans

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