Russian central bank allocates $2 bln for small, medium firms to pay salaries

MOSCOW, March 27 (Reuters) – The Russian central bank said on Friday it would channel up to 150 billion roubles ($1.92 billion) to small- and medium-sized companies to ensure flawless payments of salaries, as part of the state measures amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The central bank will also provide loans to banks at a rate of 4% for one year to ensure payment of salaries, as Russia prepares to shut many businesses during a week-long holiday the country will observe to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

To support market liquidity, the central bank said it would offer 500 billion roubles in repo operations, taking into account the span of non-working days from March 30 to April 3. ($1 = 78.2910 roubles) (Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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