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Jan 28, 2015

Russia unveils $35 billion anti-crisis plan, silent on cuts to pay for it

MOSCOW, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Russia announced a $35 billion
“anti-crisis” spending plan on Wednesday to bail out an economy
battered by Western sanctions and falling oil prices, but gave
few details of the deep cuts it said would be enacted this year
to pay for it.

The 2.34 trillion rouble spending plan includes 1.55 billion
roubles to support banks, most of which was already announced
last year and which many analysts say is still a fraction of
what Moscow will have to spend to keep its lenders afloat.

Jan 15, 2015

Putin’s defense fixation deepens Russian budget problems

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin’s insistence on huge defense spending makes it hard to see how a government plan to make deep budget cuts will see Russia through a deepening economic crisis.

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov called on Wednesday for a 10 percent cut in planned expenditures, warning that if oil were to average $50 a barrel this year, the budget would face a shortfall of 3 trillion rubles ($46 billion).

Dec 11, 2014

Few oligarchs can beat Russia’s weakening economy

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s oligarchs are no strangers to misfortune, asset grabs, forced investments and financial crises.

Many of them may publicly shrug off a 40 percent plunge in the rouble and the difficulties caused by a sanctions-hit economy heading for recession.

Dec 9, 2014

Russian assets fall further, rate rise expectations mount

MOSCOW, Dec 9 (Reuters) – The rouble declined further on
Tuesday as global oil prices hovered close to five-year lows,
with mounting expectations the Russian central bank will raise
interest rates on Thursday.

At 1410 GMT, the rouble was 0.8 percent weaker against the
dollar at 54.18 and had lost 1.3 percent to stand
at 67.10 versus the euro.

Dec 8, 2014

Rouble and Russian shares slide as oil price tumbles to new low

MOSCOW, Dec 8 (Reuters) – The rouble and Russian shares fell
on Monday as the oil price tumbled to a five-year low and the
central bank appeared to refrain from interventions in the
currency market.

At 1300 GMT, the rouble was down 2.2 percent against the
dollar at 53.66 and down 1.8 percent against the euro at 65.80.

Dec 5, 2014

Rouble firms on probable interventions, RTS stock index falls below 900

MOSCOW, Dec 5 (Reuters) – The rouble defied falling oil
prices to firm on Friday, buoyed by what traders said were
sizeable interventions by the central bank after President
Vladimir Putin gave instructions to deal with “speculators” he
blames for weakening the currency.

Russian stocks fell heavily, however, weighed down by oil
prices falling further below $70 per barrel. The dollar-based
RTS stock index fell below 900 for the first time since
July 2009, briefly hitting a five-year low of 893 points, only
to rebound as the rouble suddenly strengthened.

Dec 4, 2014

Russian assets fall after Putin disappoints and oil slide resumes

MOSCOW, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Russian asset prices fell sharply
on Thursday after a state-of-the-nation speech from Russian
President Vladimir Putin left investors unimpressed by promised
reforms, and oil prices resumed their decline.

By 1430 GMT, the rouble was 1.6 percent weaker on the day at
53.37 versus the dollar and 2 percent weaker at
65.71 against the euro.

Dec 3, 2014

Russia budget cuts threaten long-term economic prospects

MOSCOW (Reuters) – As Russia grapples with the impact of plunging energy prices and a contracting economy on its government finances, painful cuts in state spending have become unavoidable.

But rather than touch sizeable defense and social expenditures backed by President Vladimir Putin, the axe is most likely to fall on infrastructure projects that are important for reviving long-term economic growth, analysts say.

Nov 28, 2014

Russian economy to contract in 2015 as woes mount – Reuters Poll

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s economy will eke out growth this year but shrink in 2015 as a slump in oil prices and Western sanctions imposed over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis drag on activity, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.

The poll of 14 analysts predicted that gross domestic product would grow by 0.5 percent this year, a slightly more optimistic prediction than last month’s 0.3 percent forecast, following some recent data which beat expectations.

Nov 17, 2014

Russian assets gain after EU holds off on new sanctions

MOSCOW, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Russian stocks saw a small bounce
on Monday, while the rouble was steady, after the European Union
decided not to impose more sanctions against Russia for now over
Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.

EU foreign ministers agreed to put more Russia-backed
Ukrainian separatists on their sanctions list, but did not
extend measures against Russia itself.