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Russian Military Plans Shock Stock Exchange
3.03.2014 18:57
Russian Military Plans Shock Stock Exchange
Photo Credit: http://gazeta.studsetka.ru

The events in Ukraine have sent the Russian stock market and national currency in free fall, with the biggest blue chips like Sberbank or Gazprom shrinking by an average of 15-23 percent.

      The tough international response over Russia’s intentions to defend (or annex?) Crimea triggered a massive sale of Russian stocks. RTS sunk 13.32 percent to 1,098.51 points to hit a low since September 2009. MICEX plunged 11.64 percent to 1,276.59.

      A further fall by as much as 3 percent could force the stock exchange to suspend trading for 30 minutes. In case of a steeper decline, trading will be put off till next day. Throughout the day, the Moscow Stock Exchange suspended trading in the stocks of Mostotrest, FSK UES, Rosseti, MOESK, Kamaz, Mechel, Irkutskenergo after they devalued by more than 20 percent.

      According to the Exchange, the volume on the foreign exchange section broke the $42 billion threshold, double the February average of $22-23 billion. The Central Bank is forced to resort to mass injections to keep the national currency afloat.

      By 4.30 pm Moscow time, a whole raft of Russian giants were hit, including Gazprom (-14.56 percent), VTB (-18.82 percent), Gazprom Neft (-8.71 percent), Lukoil (-10.05 percent), Novatek (-14.42 percent), Norilsk Nickel (-6.19 percent), Polyus Gold (-9.29 percent), Rosneft (-7.62 percent), Rostelecom (-13.89 percent), Sberbank (-17.09 percent), FSK UES (-23.69%). The capitalization of the Russian companies listed on MICEX shrank by 2.1 trillion roubles to total 18.4.

      The latest news has upset plans to stabilize the national currency and kick-start the economy.

      Earlier, Russia-IC reported that Finance Minister Anton Siluanov expected the rouble exchange rate to come back to normal in the near future.

      Speaking to foreign investors in Hong Kong, he said the role of the US dollar in the economy is shrinking, both in terms of settlements and savings.

      The statement was made amid a sharp devaluation of the Russian national currency, which lost 7.7 percent in January alone.

      Russians rushed to convert their savings into dollars and euro but for many it was too late. Prices for imported products, including cars and consumer electronics, are expected to jump by March.

      The sudden devaluation has undermined the drive by the Russian authorities to turn Moscow into a global financial center and attract foreign capital.  




Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Russian rouble Russian currency Russian economy   

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