Why is Russia’s Central Bank planning to print 1 trillion rubles? The regulator intends to inject $15 billion of cash into circulation

Central Bank of Russia file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ANNA KUCHMA, RBTH – November 18, 2015) Russia’s Central Bank is to inject 1 trillion rubles ($15 billion) in banknotes into circulation in December, allegedly to cover a seasonal demand for cash. The regulator’s first deputy chairman Georgy Luntovsky announced the upcoming cash issue on Nov. 12. According to the Central Bank, the […]

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How the Unshackled Ruble Has Changed Russia’s Economy Forever; The weaker currency has hit consumers hard but helped oil producers

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova, Andre Tartar – November 9, 2015) [Charts here http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-10/how-the-unshackled-ruble-has-changed-russia-s-economy-forever] Today marks the one-year anniversary of the freeing of the ruble for the first time in its post-Soviet history. In five charts, we show how the central bank’s decision to stop depleting international reserves to prop up the currency has upended every facet of the […]

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Hard to call Russian banking system healthy – Sberbank exec

Sberbank File Photo

MOSCOW. Oct 28 (Interfax) – It is currently difficult to call the Russian banking system healthy, Sberbank (MOEX: SBER) deputy CEO Bella Zlatkis believes. “If two or three banking institutions in the country close per week, if this number increases by tens in a year, if a whole number of banking institutions are having problems with capital and liquidity, I […]

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Russia Faces Reality With Prediction of Deeper Economic Slump

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova, Olga Tanas – August 25, 2015) Russia’s government is starting to face reality. While insisting the worst of its recession was over, it cut its economic forecasts for this year and next amid the renewed plunge in energy prices and persistent sanctions over Ukraine. Economists said the revisions fell short of their estimates predicting […]

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‘Black Monday’ inflicts further damage on Russian markets

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

Amid turmoil on global financial markets, the Russian ruble fell to a historic low against the U.S. dollar on Aug. 24, while the key stock market index, the RTS, dropped 6 percent. Russian analysts say that there is little room for optimism while oil prices remain low. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan – August 25, 2015) […]

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Russian ruble tumbles as oil prices tank

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – August 20, 2015) Russia’s ruble tumbled to a six-month low of RUB67 to the dollar and RUB75 to the euro on Thursday, as oil prices dropped yet again to $47 a barrel. The fall in the ruble adds to the turmoil in emerging markets over the past […]

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NEWSWATCH Moscow Times/Chris Weafer: No End in Sight to the Ruble’s Downward Slide

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Writing in The Moscow Times, Chris Weafer considers trends in the Russian economy, with a focus on the ruble. … More than anything else the ruble is very much like the single bolt which holds a hang-glider together. If it breaks then the glider will fall to earth and the pilot very likely killed. * * * The reason why the ruble has that critical role is because, […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal: Russians Seek to Soften Impact of Ruble Depreciation. Businesses look for new ways to hedge against further currency volatility.

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The Wall Street Journal covers Russian vulnerability to currency volatility. Under Russian President Vladimir Putin, currency volatility once seemed consigned to the past. Before Russia’s annexation of Crimea last year, the ruble had kept an average range of between 25 and 35 to the dollar for several years. Now the exchange rate hovers around 66 to the dollar. * * […]

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Average Bribe in Russia Doubles in Rubles, Remains Steady in Dollars

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 31, 2015) The amount of the average bribe in Russia has nearly doubled this year, reaching 208,000 rubles ($3,485 at today’s rate), as the country’s currency has shed value amid Western sanctions and an economic downturn, according to Interior Ministry estimates cited by pro-government Izvestia daily on Friday. This compares to about 109,000 rubles […]

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NEWSWATCH BBC: Russian debtors despair as boom turns to bust

Cash, Calculator, Pen

The BBC covers the Russian economic crisis and the plight of Russians who took on debt during boom times only to face misery and potential disaster now. Millions of Russians took out loans during the economic boom years, but now they face crippling debts and the law is not on their side …. * * * … the Russian United Credit Bureau […]

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Ruble Fall Stokes Russian Holidaymaker Woes

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – July 30, 2015) Alexandra Khomenok booked a European holiday earlier this month, but her plans hit a stumbling block this week as the ruble took an abrupt plunge, scraping four-month lows. While the 27-year-old PR manager has already bought tickets for herself and her husband to fly to Italy in September, they […]

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Russia Braces for Longest Recession in Decades With $50 Oil

Oil Wells File Photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – July 22, 2015) For an economy that lives and dies by crude prices, the latest downturn in the world oil market means Russia’s recession may stretch into next year for the longest slump in two decades. Russia’s first economic slump since 2009 looked like it would plateau as oil gained 40 percent from […]

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Weak ruble is the ‘new norm’

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Chris Weafer of Macro-Advisory – July 17, 2015) It is axiomatic that every major sporting event has a distinctive theme tune and every financial crisis has at least one unique descriptive slogan or buzzword. In Russia today the competition for that catchphrase is between “localisation” and “the new norm”. A great deal has already […]

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Russia Signals Tighter Ruble Reins as Economy Braces for Shocks

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova, Andrey Biryukov, Olga Voitova – July 9, 2015) Russia is asserting more control over its currency as crises from Greece to China create new vulnerabilities for the recession-hit economy. Russia is succeeding at keeping the ruble within an “acceptable corridor” while maintaining its reserves and a positive trade balance, President Vladimir Putin said on […]

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Ruble’s Top Forecaster Sees Deeper Rout as Companies Repay Debt

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ksenia Galouchko – July 2, 2015) Sanctions are once again catching up on the ruble. While still the best performer in the world this year, no emerging-market currency has fallen more in the past month as the effect of rebounding oil prices faded. Approaching foreign-debt payments and a shrinking economy probably mean it has a further […]

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Etalon still building as world huffs, puffs, tries to blow Russia’s house down

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris – June 24, 2015) The world may be huffing and puffing and trying to blow Russia’s house down. But the house made of brick is proving to be a match for sanctions and falling oil prices, to the extent that Russia’s leading residential developer Etalon Group continues to see its business prosper […]

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Russia Embraces Yuan in Move Against U.S. Dollar Hegemony

Map of China and Environs, adapted from archived cia.gov image

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – June 16, 2015) Russian financial authorities, energy companies and state-controlled banks are stepping up their use of China’s yuan currency as Western sanctions spur diversification away from the U.S. dollar. In recent weeks, major Russian institutions have lined up to announce moves to use the yuan, which will likely emerge as the […]

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NEWSLINK Brookings Institution: The ruble currency storm is over, but is the Russian economy ready for the next one?

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Recent data show the Russian economy contracted 1.9 percent in the first quarter of 2015. In this article, Sergey Aleksashenko delves into the events that led to the downturn, and what we can expect for the rest of 2015.

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal: The Putin Recession; Russia’s economy keeps shrinking, but the West won’t take advantage

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The Wall Street Journal editors address Russia’s economic crisis and the West’s apparent unwillingness to step up economic pressure. The Russian recession is expected to continue unfolding. An oddity of recent weeks has been the attempt to argue that Russia’s economy isn’t as awful as it looks. Then along comes Friday’s report that GDP fell 1.9% year-on-year in the first […]

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What next for Russia’s economy and the ruble?

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Chris Weafer in Moscow, Senior Partner at Macro Advisory, which offers bespoke Russia-CIS consulting – May 19, 2015) If you left Russia for the last New Year holiday and did not return until the recent May holidays, and did not follow the news from or about Russia in the meantime, you would certainly be […]

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Russia’s Richest Billionaire: Impact of Sanctions Is Waning

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ryan Chilcote, Yuliya Fedorinova – May 18, 2015) Russia’s richest man said international investors are coming back to the country and the impact of sanctions has peaked. “Now it’s getting clear that the situation is more politically stable or predictable,” Vladimir Potanin, who heads Russia’s biggest miner, OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, said in an interview with […]

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As Inflation Soars, One in Five Russians Can Only Afford Bare Necessities

File Photo of Older Russian Woman Shopping in Grocery Store

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – May 15, 2015) Many Russians flocked to stores late last year as the ruble plummeted against the euro and dollar, eager to get the most out of their savings before the prices of imported goods rose. Nearly 20 percent of Russians can now afford nothing more than the absolute necessities as double-digit […]

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Currency Crisis Leaves Russian Scientists With No Funds for Foreign Journal Subscriptions

Artist's Conception of Nanotechnology Components

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – May 13, 2015) After scientists across Russia lost access to thousands of academic journals on Tuesday due to the ruble’s sharp devaluation, Education Minister Dmitry Livanov vowed to restore access to academic publishing giant Springer, Russian media reported. Universities and research institutions across the country lost access to Springer due to a […]

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Russian Economy May Be Stumbling Back To Its Feet

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Oilprice.com – Andy Tully – May 3, 2015) The Bank of Russia has cut interest rates for the third time so far this year, reinforcing forecasts by some government ministers that the country’s economic woes are beginning to stabilize. The central bank cut its key rate on April 30 to 12.5 percent, a reduction of 1.5 points, and said it would […]

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Strengthening of ruble due to growth of oil prices over – Yudayeva

Oil Wells File Photo

MOSCOW. April 22 (Interfax) – The strengthening of the ruble due to growth in prices for oil has ended, First Deputy Central Bank Governor Ksenia Yudayeva told journalists at the Forum for Financial Stability on Wednesday. “The strengthening of the ruble has ended, it has partially ended, what we saw was connected with the sharp movement upwards in prices for […]

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Russian Global Trade Plummets as Economic Crisis Deepens

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – April 21, 2015) Russia’s trade turnover with the outside world plunged 30.1 percent year-on-year in the first two months of 2015 as oil price falls, currency devaluation and tit-for-tat sanctions shook the Russian economy. The value of Russia’s international trade fell to $83.3 billion over January and February, according to data published […]

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Ruble Rebound Slows Russia’s Rampant Food Price Inflation

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – April 21, 2015) The ruble’s rapid recovery in recent weeks has seen prices on some foods fall, easing months of spiraling inflation and softening one of the most widely felt blows of Russia’s economic crisis. All major retailers contacted by The Moscow Times last week said that the ruble’s rebound of some […]

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Weak Russian Economic Data Blunt Putin’s Optimism

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – April 20, 2015) The ruble slumped 4 percent and Moscow-listed stocks fell on Friday after official data showed that Russia’s economy contracted sharply in the first quarter of this year. The data, which showed a deep decline in real wages and consumer spending, came a day after President Vladimir Putin told Russians […]

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NEWSLINK CNBC: Russia has bigger concerns than oil, ruble: Deputy PM

Arkady Dvorkovich file photo

Faced with the triple whammy of plunging oil prices, currency volatility and Western sanctions, there’s no dearth of challenges for Russia’s ailing economy, but Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said what hurts most is the scarcity of financing for new investments. “The shortness of financing for new investments is where the Russian economy is being hit in the most important […]

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Eastern Ukraine returns to the ruble

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv, Mari Bastashevski in Donetsk – April 15, 2015) The Russian ruble is gaining ground against the hryvnia across rebel-held parts of East Ukraine’s Donbas region, 19 years after Kyiv introduced the national currency to end the country’s membership of the ruble zone. As Eastern Ukraine heads towards becoming a frozen […]

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Russia Sees Further Drop in Capital Outflows as Economy Adjusts

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas, Anna Andrianova – April 14, 2015) Russian capital outflows will slow further as bonds and the ruble stage a comeback following a sell-off last year, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said. Net outflows will slow to $15 billion in the second quarter after a “sharp decline” in the previous three months, bringing the total for […]

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Russian Capital Flight Slows to $32.6 Billion in First Quarter

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 10, 2015) Net capital outflow from Russia was $32.6 billion in the first quarter of the year, down from $72.9 billion in the previous three months, suggesting that panic over Russia’s economic crisis has receded, data published this week by the Central Bank showed. Capital flight from Russia nearly tripled in 2014 from the […]

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Moscow Times: Ruble Hits New 2015 Highs in World’s Best Currency Rebound

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – April 8, 2015) The Russian currency strengthened rapidly Wednesday as a recent rally driven by greater confidence in the ruble and easing international tensions overpowered the downward pressure of a sliding oil price. The ruble jumped over 3 percent in morning trading to 53.4 against the U.S. dollar before weakening slightly to […]

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No artificial liquidity crunch – Nabiullina

File Photo of Elvira Nabiullina at OECD Event, at Podium and On Large Video Screen

MOSCOW. April 7 (Interfax) – There’s no artificial deliberate liquidity crunch in Russia, Elvira Nabiullina, head of the Central Bank, said. “There’s no artificial liquidity crunch,” she said. She said the ruble was strengthening due to the stabilization of oil prices, and end to peak foreign debt repayments and a high key rate. “Some people have described the ruble’s strengthening […]

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Ruble whipsaws top forecasters as worst currency becomes best

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ksenia Galouchko – MOSCOW, April 6, 2015) For one of the toughest jobs in financial markets, try predicting the ruble. As Russia’s currency went from the world’s worst performer to the best in the first three months of this year, it caught out even the most accurate forecasters. Oil’s drop to near a six-year low and […]

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Moscow Times: Only 2% of Russians Concerned Over Ruble’s Collapse – Poll

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(Moscow Times – April 1, 2016) Only 2 percent of Russians count the ruble’s collapse among the most important issues facing their country, according to a recent survey by state pollster VTsIOM. When asked the question “Which problems do you believe are the most important for the country as a whole?” 21 percent of respondents chose “the economy,” 17 percent […]

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Expats in Russia: No longer a boom – but not all doom and gloom

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Bryan MacDonald, special to RBTH – March 30, 2015) The ruble’s calamitous fall against the euro and dollar this winter and a well-publicised recession makes Russia less attractive for expats than anytime in recent memory. But are they really leaving the country? Bryan MacDonald discovers that how the economy is faring back home […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: Russia’s rich forego some luxuries but still back Putin

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[“Russia’s rich forego some luxuries but still back Putin” – Reuters – Elizabeth Piper –  March 29, 2015] Reuters covers the reactions among Russia’s elite to economic changes such as Western sanctions, a falling ruble, oil price losses and other disruptions. … the enforced modesty has not yet driven the super wealthy out of Russia or against President Vladimir Putin, who […]

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NEWSWATCH AFP: Ruble gain brings hope to Russian economy

Cash, Calculator, Pen

[“Ruble gain brings hope to Russian economy” – AFP – March 30, 2015] AFP covers variations in the value of the ruble amidst Russia’s ongoing economic crisis. It has been a torrid time of late for the Russian economy, as the fallout from Ukraine and tumbling oil prices have plunged the country into financial crisis. However, an unexpected recent rebound by […]

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Russian Government Struggles to Check Surging Cost of Medicine

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – March 27, 2015) The cost of medicine is rising fast in Russia, hitting consumers and challenging a government that has made its reputation as a bulwark of social stability. The ruble’s fall of nearly 40 percent to the U.S. dollar and 22 percent to the euro since the beginning of 2014 has sent […]

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Ruble Panic Recedes as Russians Start Selling Dollars

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 26, 2015) Russians sold more foreign currency than they bought in January for the first time in two years, the Central Bank said Wednesday, in a sign that last year’s panic over the ruble has subsided. The Russian currency went into meltdown in December as a months-long devaluation prompted by Western sanctions and oil […]

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Effect of ruble strengthening nearly neutral for Russian budget – Nesterenko

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MOSCOW. March 25 (Interfax) – Ruble strengthening in excess of that assumed in the 2015 budget would lead to both lower revenue and lower spending, meaning that the net impact on the budget will be neutral, First Deputy Finance Minister Tatyana Nesterenko said. “The ruble exchange rate and the price of oil [assumed in the budget] are forecasts calculated as […]

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Moscow Times: Poll: Record Number of Russians Reject Emigration

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Spinella – March 23, 2015) Eighty-three percent of Russians say they’re not interested in moving anywhere outside of the former Soviet Union, the independent Levada Center pollster revealed, noting that this represented the highest such figure since the end of the Soviet era. Another 81 percent of respondents said they never even think about the […]

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Russian ruble seen appreciating by third this year

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – March 9, 2015) [Charts here http://www.bne.eu/content/story/russian-ruble-seen-appreciating-third-year] After crashing in December, Russia’s ruble has made a remarkable comeback since February by rising about 15% against the dollar, making it the best performing currency amongst the 14 in Emerging Europe so far this year, according to Bloomberg. And the appreciation of the ruble […]

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S&P downgrades Russia to junk

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – January 27, 2015) Standard & Poor’s downgraded Russia’s credit rating to junk status late on January 26, a move which precipitated the rouble’s fall by more than 6%. S&P lowered Russia’s credit rating to BB+, one step below investment grade, as renewed fighting in Ukraine raised the threat of tighter Western […]

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Business New Europe: Russia prepares RUB1.375 trillion anti-crisis plan

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – January 22, 2015) Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has approved the provisional version of an anti-crisis plan drawn up by the government. According to media reports, the plan involves recapitalisation of banks, provision of state guarantees, support measures for state development bank VEB and diverse sectors, changes to state procurement laws and […]

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