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MOSCOW, March 3 Russian bank Sberbank will
return to signing loan agreements in Ukraine when the financial
situation there improves, the bank's chairman Igor Yushko said
in a statement on Monday.
Sberbank previously said it had temporarily suspended some
lending but the bank would continue to extend credit to large
enterprises whose financial condition was sound.
"The bank continues to consider applications from potential
borrowers building up a project portfolio. The bank will get
back to signing loan agreements once financial situation
improves," Yushko said.
He added that Sberbank had a strong liquidity level in
Ukraine with 1.7 billion hryvnia available and an unused line of
$750 million from its main bank.
It also said it was not reducing the size limits for cash
withdrawals from payment cards.
Sberbank's CEO German Gref said two weeks ago that the bank
had no intention of leaving the market but had temporarily
suspended some lending.
Sberbank had exposure of 130 billion roubles ($4 billion) to
Ukraine - or less than 1 percent of its balance sheet.
Russia took a financial hit over its military intervention
in neighbouring Ukraine, with its markets and currency plunging
on Monday as President Vladimir Putin's forces tightened their
grip on the Russian-speaking Crimea region.
Ukraine's central bank last week said it would limit the
amount of foreign currency citizens could take out to 15,000
hryvnia ($1,500) a day.
Some banks such as local bank Privatbank and the Ukrainian
unit of Italy's biggest bank by assets, UniCredit,
have announced limits.
(Reporting by Megan Davies, editing by Gabriela Baczynska and