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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Inkombank Adopts Tight Credit Line

Inkombank, one of Russia's largest banks, is cutting back on its credit operations and will maintain tight policies until after the presidential election, its president said Tuesday.

Vladimir Vinogradov said the bank has cut back on both its ruble and hard currency credits and now only grants credits to "first-class lenders," Reuters reported.

He said the bank "is forced to" pursue a conservative line between the first and second round of the election, and pointed to the drop in prices on state bonds, increased Central Bank reserve requirements, and a drop in household deposits as negative tendencies on the banking market, the agency reported.

Also Tuesday, Inkombank confirmed that it had sold 10 tons of gold to the Russian Central Bank at a price of $125 million. According to Nikolay Barynov, head of Inkombank's department of precious metals, the transaction was carried out on behalf of a client and was "not anything out of the ordinary."

Tuesday's announcements followed some speculation in the Moscow banking community that the bank, Russia's fifth largest in terms of assets, may be facing a liquidity shortage.

"The market is very tight and no one is immune to its fluctuations, that also goes for Inkombank," said one banking source who asked not to be named.

Another source at a major Russian bank, commenting on the stability of Russia's top institutions, said that even if some of Russia's leading banks would face serious liquidity shortages "they would never be allowed to go bankrupt."