Russian central bank injects $8 bln to prevent liquidity shortage

Adds detail, second repo auction

MOSCOW, Oct 12 (Reuters)The Russian central bank sold 620 billion roubles ($8 billion) at two long-term repo auctions on Monday, the largest injection of roubles into the banking system since the central bank reintroduced such auctions in May.

The repo auctions were designed to prevent rouble liquidity shortages following the finance ministry’s record weekly placement of OFZ treasury bonds last week, which drained roubles from the financial system.

At Monday’s rare one-year auction, only the second such auction this year, the bank sold 20 billion roubles out of 400 billion roubles on offer.

A more successful one-month auction followed, with the bank selling 600 billion roubles, with 1 trillion roubles offered.

Repo, or repurchase agreement, auctions are designed to increase banks’ capacity to manage their liquidity. Liquidity at such actions became more affordable as the central bank slashed its key rate to a record low of 4.25% this year.

On Friday, the central bank said Russia’s liquidity levels remain adequate but increased the limit on one-month repo auctions to give credit institutions greater flexibility in liquidity management.

Russia’s active placement of OFZ treasury bonds, used by the government to plug holes in the budget, could influence the liquidity of credit institutions, the central bank said.

($1 = 77.1469 roubles)

(Reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya and Anton Kolodyazhnyy; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Andrey Ostroukh and Toby Chopra)

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