RUSSIAN BANKS: COMPETITION – THE MAIN INSTRUMENT OF ECONOMIC GROWTH
Late March the Association of Russian Banks held its annual congress in the Kolonniy Hall, House of Unions, Moscow. Representatives from the Government, Russian Federation, the Bank of Russia, credit institutions and experts discussed the problems of ensuring a stable growth of Russian economy. Delegates and participants expressed deep concern over situation in the country’s banking market. Between 2010 and 2016 a number of banks in Russia decreased almost twofold: from 1143 to 575. In this situation a market share of 5 top banks increased from 42.5% to 55.3%, while a share of market participants occupying 201st and lower places fell from 8.2% to 2%. Derogation of competition occurred not because of market conditions, it was organized by administrative methods: limitation of bank’s operations depending of its capital, limitation of banks’ access to resource base, numerous recalls of licences, regulator’s sanctions against financial and credit organizations.
CASH PAYMENTS LIMITATION: «PROS» AND «CONS»
In recent years a rising number of countries limit the right of physical and judicial persons to cash payments for goods and services with various amounts. Most of such countries belong to the European Union. Some EC member countries introduce not direct limits for cash payments but the rules providing a special regime for payments in large amounts. Outside the territory of the European Union such examples are not so often. It may be explained by a relatively poorer developed infrastructure of cashless payments in countries with emerging markets. Another explanation says that the priority of cash payments limitation measures is the fight against terrorist danger in countries where it is most acute now. Below we suggest exempts from article by A.Yurov, Director, Department of Cash Circulation, Bank of Russia and V.Cherkasov, Chief Economist of the same department, analyzing cash payments limitations.
LUHANSK SHIFTS TO RUBLE
Since 1 March 2017, ruble has been recognized as the main currency of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), said in the decree posted at the website of the State Council of the LPR. «The State Council of the Luhansk People’s Republic decides: to recognize the Russian ruble as the currency that is legal tender of the Luhansk People’s Republic», the document says. According to the decree, the Russian ruble becomes the official currency in the LPR «due to the necessity of taking efforts to stabilize the financial and monetary system, and to the common use of Russian rubles in financial transactions in the territory of the Luhansk People’s Republic».
CHINESE ATM IN FAR EAST
Pochta Bank acquired a demonstration batch of recycling ATMs from a Chinese supplier GRG, up to 100 devices which will be tested in the upcoming months. Once the trial period is over, the bank will purchase another 300 GRG units, with a total number of these devices amounting to 400. The total price of the contracts may exceed 6.2 million euros. The parties have come to an agreement following the visit of Pochta Bank’s delegation, headed by its CEO Dmitry Rudenko, to a GRG plant in Guangzhou, China. In the long term, the parties expect to sign an agreement on cooperation.
$50 COUNTERFEIT BANKNOTES OF 1995 WITH THE IMITATED YEAR OF ISSUE – 2013, SERIAL NUMBER – AJ 13717282
The counterfeit banknote is manufactured on a heavy and smooth paper substrate. When exposed to UV light a bright blue luminescence is observed on the background. All the images of the face and back are imitated by colour electrography. The relief image, which are observed on the genuine notes and produced by intaglio printing, are missing. Small and complicated patterns of the image elements are distorted. Graphics are distorted in colour characteristics.
$100 SUPER DOLLAR COUNTERFEIT BANKNOTE OF 2001
The counterfeit banknotes are manufactured on a heavy paper substrate with an imitated grid structure. The bill has no blue background luminescence when exposed to UV light. Strength and crisp observed make it similar to a genuine one. Security fibers of red and blue observed on the substrate are imitated during the printing process. Graphical elements of the face and back are imitated by intaglio printing with a high quality of small patterns. Serial numbers, letter-digital index of the Federal Reserve System, as well as the seal of the Treasury on the genuine notes are imitated by letterpress printing.
SALT – UNIVERSAL COMMODITY MONEY OF THE PAST
The necessity for people to exchange products was driven by the division of labour. At the same time, it was not always easy to exchange one’s product for something that a person was looking for. Therefore, a universal commodity was needed that everybody should recognize. Once, the cattle served such an ubiquitous item. Even the prince’s treasury was called as «cattle stall». However the paridigitates were acceptable only for wholesale transactions. As far the retail is concerned, they were out of place, being hardly to divide. Thus, the requirements for a universal commodity were defined: it should be valuable, rare, indispensable, divisible and durable. And, in the result, salt was chosen to be such a commodity.