Stock market upbeat at close:
Russian stocks closed upwards, with the Micex index rising 4.36 percent to 851.35 points, and the RTS index finishing at 740.94 points, 2.67 percent above yesterday’s closing. The trading volume reached RUB 63.46bn (approx. USD 1.91bn) and USD 7.24m on Micex and the RTS, respectively.
Russia’s monthly inflation lower than in some European countries: Russia’s February inflation proved to be lower than in a number of European countries, according to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service’s (Rosstat) report on the increase in consumer prices based on the publications by Eurostat and national statistics services.
Russian banking system stabilizing, finance minister says: The Russian banking system’s international liabilities currently stand at nearly $150bn, and international assets at $147bn, Russia’s Deputy PM and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told a banking conference today. Consequently, the banking system’s assets and liabilities have almost evened out, he noted. “It’s a stabilizing moment,” Kudrin stressed. Assessing the current situation in the banking sector, Kudrin pointed out that it was “thanks to the Central Bank’s efforts that [the situation] has recovered.” At the same time, the minister also said, “the Central Bank sees those who are involved in doubtful transactions.”
Russia to see considerable trade surplus in 2009: The Bank of Russia expects the trade surplus to exceed $50bn in 2009, First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Alexei Ulyukayev told a Russian banking conference in Moscow today. “We expect a significant decrease in imports as a result of the ruble’s devaluation effect. With this in mind, the trade surplus will be significant and may even top $50bn,” he observed.
Medvedev to visit Germany: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will pay a working visit to the Federal Republic of Germany at the invitation of Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel on March 31, 2009. According to the Russian leader’s press office, the high-level talks in Berlin will focus primarily on the issues of the global financial and economic crisis within the context of the upcoming G20 summit in London on April 1-2, 2009.
Laid-off workers to get assistance, PM asserts: By mid-March, some 550,000-560,000 people were made redundant in Russia, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin stated at a meeting with the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia and primary trade union organizations. The official number of people out of work reached 2 million, or 2.6 percent of the total economically active population. According to Putin, 1.14 million people more are working half-time or on forced leave.
Top 100 banks saved from bankruptcy: “Russia’s top 100 banks have been saved from bankruptcy,” he stated. Describing the overall situation in the country’s banking sector, Kudrin said it had stabilized thanks to the Central Bank’s efforts. To illustrate his statement, he cited Russia’s international assets and liabilities of approx. $147 billion and $150 billion, respectively. The fact that the figures have come so close to each other is a sign of stabilization, according to the minister.