Russian oligarchs mull on taking assets back to country as new US sanctions to be announced soon

Russian oligarchs mull on taking assets back to country as new US sanctions to be announced soon

The Russian elite made a proposal to issue special bank bonds, which will have a yield above deposits in foreign currency, but still retain anonymity of the acquirer.⁠

The wealthy Russians, who may get into the report for US senators with subsequent inclusion in the US sanctions list, are looking for a way to return capital to Russia with minimal losses. Reuters writes, referring to three informed sources, that an idea of issuing special bonds, which can be used to return funds from abroad with profit, was expressed.

Securities issued in foreign currency will have a yield above bank rates. And unlike with bank accounts, owners can remain anonymous.

"We know that many people want to return their foreign funds," said the Executive Director of a large Russian state-owned company on condition of anonymity. Now wealthy people that can potentially fall under personal sanctions are transferring small amounts in foreign currency to deposits in Russian banks. "However, interest rates on deposits in foreign currency are low, and investments in tools of the foreign exchange market they could yield a fair return," said a senior official of a Russian state bank.

At the same time, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation refused to comment on this issue.

August 4, 2017 saw US President Donald Trump signing a law on sanctions against Russia, proposed by US congressmen, which pertains to collection of data on key Russian political figures and oligarchs.

The US Treasury Department, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of State, must, not later than 180 days after the enactment of the law (by January 31, 2018), provide an open Report on the oligarchs and parastatal organizations of the Russian Federation to relevant congressional committees. It should feature information on key political figures of Russia and oligarchs; establish the scale of their fortune and sources of income; list their relatives, including spouses, children, parents, their assets, including investments, business interests, property that generates income; specify foreign companies affiliated with these persons.

In the future, the report will only be supplemented with new information and names. Based on this list, up to 50.000 citizens of Russia may come under new sanctions. Russian special services have already recorded an unprecedented activity by US financial intelligence related to the request of data on Russians in European countries and a number of other states.

The spokesman for Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, stated that through sanctions the USA wants to turn business against Putin, and they purposefully do it on the cusp of presidential elections.

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