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Putin signs law seeking to help Russian investors ditch frozen assets

·1 min read

* This content was produced in Russia, where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine.

MOSCOW, July 15 (Reuters) - Russian investors will have the right to ask foreign institutions holding their frozen securities to transfer depositary accounting rights to a Russian organisation, according to a law signed by President Vladimir Putin late on Thursday.

Around six trillion roubles ($105.1 billion) of foreign shares held by Russians have been frozen as a result of Western sanctions and Russia's own authorities and platforms restricting trading in foreign assets, the central bank has estimated.

Investors have the right to submit an application for the depositary accounting rights of its foreign-held shares to be transferred to a Russian entity within 90 days from the law's publication, the text of the law said.

Russia saw a boom in private investment in the years leading up to its decision in February to send armed forces into Ukraine, with foreign stocks such as Apple and Tesla popular among a growing army of retail investors.

Moscow's access to the international economic and global trading systems has been severely restricted as a result of the West's unprecedented sanctions.

Russia's leaders and the central bank are trying to shield the country from those restrictions, accelerating a de-dollarisation drive and encouraging Russians to store their assets domestically in roubles and through Russian securities in order to protect them from possible future sanctions.

Officials have said that the law could allows Russian holders of securities of Russian companies issued abroad, including sovereign Eurobonds, to exit from these assets. (Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Alistair Bell)