Ukraine limits cash withdrawals, bans currency purchases amid Russia invasion By Reuters

©Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Hryvnia banknotes are seen in this illustration picture taken in Kiev, Ukraine, August 6, 2014. REUTERS/Konstantin Chernichkin

By Natalia Zinets

KIEV, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s central bank on Thursday suspended foreign exchange withdrawals and capped the amount of local currency that can be withdrawn from ATMs, as the Russian invasion sent assets plunging on markets.

The moves came as scores of people queued for money, water and food in Kiev and other cities following Russia’s all-out assault on Ukraine by land, sea and air, the largest interstate assault in Europe since World War II. World War.

Some Ukrainian sovereign dollar bonds fell more than 30 cents on the dollar, with many trading below 40 cents, while the central bank said it had fixed the hryvnia’s official exchange rate.

The hryvnia, which has suffered near double-digit declines since the start of the year, fell nearly 3% on Wednesday to trade at 29.79 against the dollar, its biggest drop since early 2015.

Assets in other ex-Soviet countries, from Belarus to the Ukraine and Russia itself, were suffering major sales.

In a move to prevent banking sector stability, the central bank also banned cross-border foreign exchange transactions and cash withdrawals, and suspended foreign exchange purchases in the interbank market, while keeping non-currency sales intact. the hryvnia

Governor Kyrylo Shevchenko said the bank had limited daily withdrawals in the local currency to 100,000 hryvnias ($3,356.67) and suspended top-up of e-wallets.

The Ukrainian central bank said that other non-monetary transactions were not limited and that banks could obtain refinancing loans for up to a year with no limit on the amount.

Trading in all securities, excluding those held by the central bank and finance ministry, was also temporarily suspended, the state stock market regulator said separately, in a move to prevent further asset volatility.

($1 = 29.7914 hryvnias)

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets in Kiev; additional reporting by Alexander Marrow in Moscow and Karin Strohecker in London; writing by Katya Golubkova; editing by David Goodman and Andrew Heavens; translated by Tomás Cobos)

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