Russia central bank takes Crimean lender into temporary administration

MOSCOW, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Russia’s central bank said on Thursday it was taking Crimea-based Genbank into temporary administration to ensure its financial stability and would invite a unit of Bank Rossiya group to bail out the troubled lender.

Simferopol-based Genbank and Bank Rossiya are both under Western sanctions imposed after Moscow annexed the Crimea peninsula from Kiev in 2014.

The central bank said it had appointed a temporary administration to manage Genbank, which will operate as usual pending its takeover by Sobinbank, a part of Bank Rossiya group.

The measures to enhance financial stability will allow Genbank to expand its lending programmes, a priority for Crimea’s economy and population and the scope of its banking services, the central bank added.

Bank Rossiya is partially owned by Russian businessman Yuri Kovalchuk, who is also under Western sanctions. The United States sanctioned Kovalchuk in 2014, saying he was a close adviser to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. (Reporting by Polina Nikolskaya; Editing by Polina Devitt and Catherine Evans)