Putin's Refinancing Bill Sent to Duma

The State Duma will debate a package of measures Friday to support financials markets, help firms refinance foreign debts and boost banks' liquidity.

Vladislav Reznik, head of the Duma's Financial Markets Committee, told reporters Thursday that the parliament would need to approve legislative changes to facilitate the use of anti-crisis measures proposed by the government of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

He said the changes could be approved in all the three readings Friday.

Putin said the Central Bank could tap up to $50 billion of reserves and put them on deposit at Vneshekonombank, which will help Russian firms refinance foreign debts taken on before Sept. 25.

The bill said the Central Bank would lend the money to VEB at the London interbank offered rate plus 1 percent, while VEB would lend the money at no less than Libor plus 5 percent.