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    Russian banks may raise interest rates in Q1 - Sberbank head

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    Russian banks, which considerably cut their deposit and credit interest rates in 2010, may start raising them in the first quarter of 2011 amid higher inflation and a possible tightening of monetary policy by the central bank, Herman Gref, head of Russia's top lender Sberbank, said on Wednesday.

    Russian banks, which considerably cut their deposit and credit interest rates in 2010, may start raising them in the first quarter of 2011 amid higher inflation and a possible tightening of monetary policy by the central bank, Herman Gref, head of Russia's top lender Sberbank, said on Wednesday.

    "I believe that everybody will have to raise rates. Everything will depend on the inflation trend. I think this trend is possible by the end of the first quarter - inflation will go up, central bank rates will rise, so credit and deposit rates will also increase," Gref said.

    Gref also said that he did not expect the central bank to raise interest rates before the end of the year.

    "We do not have such expectations. I believe it is too early to do so now, however, it will be necessary to think about it in the first quarter," Gref added.

    Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev said earlier this month that the bank could hike its rates in 2010 or in the first quarter of 2011.

    MOSCOW, December 22 (RIA Novosti)

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