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Russian Companies In SA Need More Banks

Russian banks plan to open offices in South Africa

Russian banks plan to open offices in South Africa to serve an increasing number of Russian companies seeking to operate in the region, Russia?s Central Bank deputy chairman Konstantin Korishchenko said yesterday.

This would swell the number of smaller foreign-owned banks represented in SA, following Standard Chartered and HSBC, which were given full banking licences in the past two years.

Korishchenko said there were "quite a few" Russian companies seeking South African operations after the central bank removed certain controls on overseas investments last year - many of which would prefer to use Russian banks while in SA.

The Russian banks visiting SA are Vneshtorgbank, Bank of Moscow, and Nomosbank.

Russian interest in SA has grown in recent years. Russia's largest mining company, Norilsk Nickel, already holds 20% of Gold Fields, while Russian company SUAL is considering investing in a smelter in the Coega Industrial Development Zone in SA.