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Today in Russian Business – Nov. 19, 2008

The World Bank’s 2009 outlook for Russia is ‘grim‘, predicting further falls for the ruble and cutting the growth forecast in half, and Dmitry Medvedev has acknowledged that the crisis is starting to hit the real economy, as Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin tries to reassure investors on grounds that Russia’s gold and currency reserves ‘have laid a solid foundation for a stable macroeconomy‘.  Trading on the MICEX was suspended this morning.  Russia cut its holdings in securities of US companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by $45 billion this year, state spending on the ruble has hit $58 billion, and the state’s banking buyout is currently around $14 billion, with foreign exchange reserves running ‘dangerously‘ low.