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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Dubinin Names Vneshtorgbank Head

Dmitry Tulin, a reformist banker, has been made president of state-owned Vneshtorgbank, Russia's second largest, an appointment widely seen as an extension of the sphere of influence of Central Bank chairman Sergei Dubinin.

Tulin served until recently as a deputy chairman of the Central Bank, where he was best known for launching the treasury bills market, and is currently Russia's representative at the International Monetary Fund.

The Central Bank owns 97 percent of Vneshtorgbank, which currently has assets of about 30 billion rubles ($5.6 billion) placing it second in assets after Sberbank, which is also state-owned.

The decision by Dubinin, who is chairman of the board of Vneshtorgbank, to put Tulin at its head did not come as surprise to analysts who attributed his appointment mainly to the government's desire to use the bank for political ends.

"Tulin was appointed president of Vneshtorgbank mainly for political reasons," said a former Vneshtorgbank banker who did not wish to be identified.

Alexei Orekhov, a fixed-income trader at Renaissance capital, said Tulin's background as both a state official and a reformist banker was what motivated the government to support his appointment.

He said Tulin's appointment reflected the government's intention to use his "intermediary position" to push banks "to participate more in the development of the economy" and "to finance some of the reforms."

"Since the last elections, everybody has understood that banks are the real power in the country because they financed the campaigns of many candidates," he said.

Another important political factor that played in favor of Tulin's appointment was the fact that he was the former vice president of the Central Bank, said Andrei Sedin, manager of the international development department at Tokobank. "Tulin is a member of Dubinin's team," he said.

Dubinin told Interfax that the changes in Vneshtorgbank were "a usual phenomenon." "The tasks facing the bank require attracting new leaders," Dubinin said.

When Dubinin announced Tulin's appointment last Friday, he pointed to his high level of professionalism.

"Tulin is a specialist in foreign currency exchange and in securities operations and this will be very important for his new job," he said, supporting the idea that Vneshtorgbank should play a "more active role in the state bonds and corporate securities market" and become a "basic depository," Segodnya reported Saturday.

Tulin replaces Yury Poletayev, who has already resigned his post. Tulin will only start to work at the bank Nov. 1 because he has to wait for the end of his contract with the IMF, said Albert Balebanov, his new adviser at Vneshtorgbank.

"Until them, Tulin will be in and out of the office and supervising the bank's activities, he said. "The IMF rules do not allow for their employee to hold two jobs at the same time."