KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s central bank will allow foreign investors in domestic bonds to transfer abroad their income received from the bonds after April 1 next year, the bank has said.

Foreigners held 75.2 billion hryvnias ($2.55 billion) of the bonds before Russia began its invasion on Feb. 24.

But the portfolio shrank after the central bank banned purchase and transfer overseas of foreign currency, except to pay for strategic or vital items such as weapons, fuel or medicine.

“The implementation of this norm will increase the interest of non-residents in the purchase of the domestic government bonds, in particular for funds received from planned repayments and income payments,” the bank said in Monday’s statement.

Ukraine’s finance ministry has struggled to borrow funds on the local market to finance the budget deficit, which has widened amidst increased expenditure needs and reduced tax revenues during what Moscow calls a “special military operation”.

($1=29.5000 hryvnias)

(Reporting and writing by Natalia Zinets; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)