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Qiwi Shares Collapse on Russia Revokes Qiwi Bank's Licence

MOSCOW, Feb 21 (Reuters) - The Bank of Russia on Wednesday said it had revoked the banking licence of Qiwi Bank for engaging in what it described as high-risk operations, sending its Moscow-listed shares plummeting almost 50% to a record low.

The central bank, which has taken regulatory action against Qiwi five times in the last year, said Qiwi Bank had systematically violated requirements on anti-money laundering and terrorism financing legislation.

"Qiwi Bank did not take effective measures to reduce risks in its activities, despite the Bank of Russia's active supervisory work, and continued conducting high-risk operations," the central bank said.

Nasdaq-listed Qiwi, a payment services provider, said it was aware of the revocation and that temporary administrators were currently working at the bank.

"We understand that you have a lot of questions," Qiwi said on Telegram. "We are looking into the situation and as soon as we have information about further actions, we will get back to you."

It said Qiwi Group's business, which is not related to Qiwi Bank, was operating as usual.

Qiwi Bank's Moscow-listed depositary receipts were down 44.7% as of 0917 GMT and reaching a record low.

The sharp drop prompted the exchange to repeatedly adjust the lower boundary for the shares and to hold a discrete auction of shares, a tool used to ease extraordinary volatility and allow a base price to be established.

Trading of its Nasdaq-listed American Depositary Shares has been suspended since soon after Russia sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022.

The company said in January it had entered into an agreement to sell its Russian assets and had thus completed a restructuring process. It said the sale of the Russian business was expected to secure its continued listings on both the Nasdaq and Moscow Exchange.

Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva and Alexander Marrow; editing by Sharon Singleton and Jason Neely

Source: Reuters

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