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Russia bans Western investors from selling stakes in banks, key assets including Sakhakin-1

Kitco News

MOSCOW, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Russia has banned investors from so-called unfriendly countries from selling shares in certain strategic businesses and banks until the end of the year, a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin showed on Friday.

The ban, effective immediately, applies to the Sakhakin-1 oil and gas development in Russia's Far East. Its operator, U.S. major ExxonMobil (XOM.N), said this week it was in the process of transferring its 30% stake to another party. read more

The decree also prohibits investors from unfriendly countries from selling their stakes in production sharing agreements which, apart from Sakhalin-1, include the Sakhalin-2 LNG (liquefied natural gas) project and the Kharyaga oil field, as well as in Russian banks, among other assets.

The list of banks is to be prepared by the government and the central bank for Putin's approval.

Italy's UniCredit (CRDI.MI) and Intesa (ISP.MI), U.S. group Citi (C.N) and Austria's Raiffeisen (RBIV.VI) continue to search for options to exit Russia, while others such as Societe Generale (SOGN.PA)(ROSB.MM) and HSBC have found a way out. read more

Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Mark Potter
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