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Financials

UPDATE 2-South Korea to ban transactions with Russia's central bank

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SEOUL, March 7 (Reuters) - South Korea is to ban transactions with Russia’s central bank, the South Korean government said on Monday, joining tough global efforts to isolate Russia over its invasion into Ukraine.

South Korea will from Tuesday immobilise any assets held by the Russian central bank in won currency and stop transactions with Russia’s central bank, following similar moves by the United States and the European Union, its finance ministry said.

South Korea also announced new penalties on key Russian sovereign wealth funds, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation and Russian Direct Investment Fund, as well as Rossiya Bank, to cut them off from any business with South Korean people and companies.

The measures follow South Korea’s March 1 decision to ban transactions with seven major Russian banks and their affiliates, including Sberbank.

Details of any Russian central bank assets held in won cannot be disclosed without the holder’s consent, a finance ministry official said.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”.

South Korean banks’ exposure to Russia stood at $1.47 billion as of the end of September, accounting for 0.4% of their total external exposure, according to data from the Financial Services Commission. (Additional reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Kenneth Maxwell)

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