Russia's prime minister, Vladimir Putin, has asked the Bank of Russia to lend directly to regional banks in an effort to tackle the credit crunch in Russia and stimulate economic activity.
Regional banks in Russia have been hit by lack of liquidity and poor access to long-term loans, the latter a reflection of the fact they are un-rated by international credit ratings agencies. They have struggled to get funds from Moscow-based commercial banks, which have remained risk-averse as a consequence o
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