Central Bank ready to let non-residents to GKO market

Despite official statements of Russian officials that the state securities market does not need to attract resources from world financial markets, the Central Bank of Russia is preparing documents describing the procedure for non-residents to have access to the market of treasury bills (GKO). It is worth mentioning that this access was closed after the 1998 default.

On November 24, Deputy Finance Minister of Russia Sergey Kolotukhin stated at an international press conference in Delhi (India) that one could not speak about access for non-residents to the market of state debts so far. "But the Central Bank cannot help seeing that the resources on the state securities market are not only those of Russian companies and banks", a source in financial circles stated.

With world financial markets declining, Russia is becoming increasingly attractive for foreign investors. Non-residents are ready to invest not only in shares of private companies but also in Russian state securities.

As of now, one fifth of all resources on the state securities market is of foreign companies. Money of western clients has always been invested in GKOs via Russian market participants. The pattern is rather simple. Non-residents' currency comes to Russian banks' correspondent accounts, is converted into Russian rubles and is invested in state securities as money of Russian clients. It looks simple, but rather risky, as the Central Bank can punish a bank working with non-resident resources.

And now, the Central Bank has prepared a corresponding instruction describing in detail, how much non-resident resources and via what accounts Russian banks can invest them in Russian state securities. This document is to be coordinated with the Russian Finance Ministry; it is the Finance Ministry, which issues state securities, Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported.

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