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MINIMUM CAPITAL REQUIREMENTS FOR BANKS
The law that has increased the minimum capital requirements for banks became a real shock therapy for the banking community. As of April l, 2009, 145 Russians banks operated with a capital of less than 90 million rubles. Many experts expected a true drama in 2010, when a hundred or even more bank licenses would be recalled nearly simultaneously. However, despite the dark forecasts, it happened quietly, with no unnecessary words and tears.
Only seven licenses were recalled on the basic of the new requirements to the amount of own capital. Furthermore, seven banks with insufficient capital were transformed into non-bank credit organizations, seven other banks have in¬creased their capital by January 2010, and one more bank has been liquidated voluntarily.
Thus, the banking community was able to overcome the first barrier with minimum losses. However, there are still chances that seven cancelled licenses is not the final result. For instance, Troyka Bank was found to have simulated the in¬crease of the capital up to the minimum requirements of 90 million rubles, for which its license was cancelled. An audit of the Bank of Russia has discovered that the owners of the bank, also being its top managers, have first donated their salaries as additional capital, but then have withdrawn this money from the bank, stripping it of its capital. There have been opposite cases, too: West Bank whose license was recalled in February due to insufficient capital has managed to get its license back throw Moscow Arbitration Court.
According to Mikhail Sukhov, Director of the Department of licensing and financial rehabilitation of credit organizations of the Bank of Russia, 2010 was the record year as for mergers and acquisitions in the banking sector. In this year, 18 banks merged with 12 other banks; thus about 6 % of total banking assets were involved in the consolidation process. However, Mikhail Sukhov believes that this is not the limit and year 2012 will bring new records in the banking market. In 2012, banks have a new goal to reach - increase their capital up to 180 million rubles.
The banking crisis in Russia is over, and the banks are able to resolve debt issues on their own, without the help from the government - this is the approximate consolidated opinion of the Russian Government and the Bank of Russia regarding the situation in the system. The anti-crisis measures were adopted quickly and are cancelled slowly - this is what market players should thank the Bank of Russia for.
As Alexey Simanovsky Director of the Department of banking regulation and supervision of the Bank of Russia believes, these measures were required in the first place because banks excessively aggressive credit policies and cared little about liquidity.
In April 2011, the Russian Government and Bank of Russia adopted the Banking Sector Development Strategy for the Period up to 2015, a document which set as the main objective of banking sector development in the medium term (2011-2015) the enhancement of the banking sector’s stability and efficiency. According to the document the minimum capital requirements for the banks to January 1, 2015 shall constitute 300 million rubles.
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