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08/13/1998 07:29:39 Russia c.bank says new measures will calm markets

MOSCOW, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Russia's central bank expanded

commercial bank access to overnight credits and imposed limits

on foreign exchange purchases on Thursday, saying the measures

would calm markets and did not affect rouble convertibility.

"We are widening the circle of banks which have access to

one-day credits from the Bank of Russia. Previously this access

was restricted to primary bank dealers," Central Bank Deputy

Chairman Denis Kiselyov told Reuters. He said overnight credits

were now available to banks with state debt portfolios of more

than 100 million roubles.

The central bank said on Wednesday that the Russian

interbank market had been crippled by acute liquidity problems

and a crisis of confidence, with some banks failing to meet

obligations to each other and to the central bank.

Kiselyov said the expanded access to overnight credits,

along with limits on purchases of foreign exchange by banks

building up their own reserves, would help cool the market. The

central bank is also stepping up supervision of banks.

"We expect these measures will be sufficient to stop the

market from overheating," he said. "We are not restricting in

any way the acquisition of foreign exchange for operations with

clients, to meet their own obligations, to pay off syndicated

loans, or to pay out resources on client deposits."

A central bank statement said the measures did not affect

rouble convertibility. "The decision does not introduce any

changes in the Russian rouble convertibility regime or in the

existing system of currency regulation in the Russian

Federation."

((Irina Demchenko, Moscow Newsroom, +7095 941-8520

moscow.newsroom@reuters.com))

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