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Qiwi Bank says no signs of bankruptcy amid Russian licence revocation

(Reuters) - Digital bank Qiwi, whose Russian licence was revoked by the Russian central bank earlier this month, said on Monday it saw no sign of bankruptcy in its operations and a liquidation process agreed in January should proceed without difficulty.

Nasdaq-listed Qiwi, a Russian analogue to PayPal, had 29 million users at the end of 2022 and 13.8 million active wallets.

The Russian central bank, which has taken regulatory action against Qiwi five times in the last year, said Qiwi Bank had engaged in high-risk operations.

"To our knowledge, QIWI Bank had no signs of bankruptcy," Qiwi said in a statement.

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"Thus, after the liquidation procedure, the remaining capital should be transferred to its owner, JSC QIWI."

The Qiwi statement added that there was "no certainty on how the situation will continue to develop, what time will be required for the liquidation, and whether any funds at all will be available to JSC QIWI after the liquidation".

Payment services used by Russians to transfer money overseas were knocked offline last week after the central bank revoked Qiwi's licence, sending its Moscow-listed shares plummeting almost 50% to a record low.

Russia's Deposit Insurance Agency (ASV) said compensation payments would start being paid by March 6.

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 Ron Popeski; Editing by Sandra Maler)