Central Bank Has Repo Rates Cut

The Central Bank has insisted that rates for commercial repo funding are lowered, and it is monitoring daily how much money three major banks pass on to smaller institutions, first deputy chairman Alexei Ulyukayev said Thursday.

Commercial repo rates with shares used as collateral had risen as high as 22 percent during the height of the liquidity crunch and stock market collapse that hit Russia last month, Ulyukayev said.

"We insisted that they be lowered," he said, adding later that current rates of around 18 percent were "sensible."

Ulyukayev also said the Central Bank was monitoring how much money Sberbank, VTB and Gazprombank are passing on to smaller institutions.

The Central Bank will be allowed to lend money to credit-rated institutions without collateral, in part replacing funding now provided by the Finance Ministry. "These are credits with no real backing. That is risk [and it] must be understood," Ulyukayev said.