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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bank: Sale To Include Foreigners

A top Central Bank official said Monday that several foreign companies may participate for the first time in an auction of Russian government securities Wednesday if technical difficulties were resolved in time.

Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Sergei Aleksashenko said the bank would spare no efforts to carry out its first auctions of Treasury bills and government bonds (OFZs) with foreign participation.

"We shall do our best to create a precedent of nonresident participation in the auctions on Feb. 7," he said.

"If on Tuesday night we at last coordinate everything ... a few investors will be able to transfer money [to use in the auctions]. I think there will be three to five participants, and the amounts will be small this first time."

The finance ministry will offer 6.5 trillion rubles ($1.37 billion) of three-month Treasury bills and 2 trillion rubles of two-year government bonds in the sales.

Last month, the government invited foreign companies into the lucrative T-bill and government bond market. The yields for foreigners will be capped, however, and they will work through intermediary banks.

Some technical difficulties remain, including questions about how intermediary banks will operate and how accounts are to be opened in Russia for institutions.

The ministry has said nonresident participation will be instrumental in bringing down yields on government securities, which are straining the budget.