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  Thursday, February 27, 2020
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Russia's financial system will be able to overcome global economic shocks with minimum losses
Russia's financial system will be able to overcome global economic shocks with minimum losses, a government official said Tuesday. Russian stocks fell sharply March 5, following plunges on global stock markets. The MICEX index, a benchmark indicator of the Russian stock market, tumbled 5.29%, to 1,507.13 points, by 11:00 a.m. Moscow time (8:00 a.m. GMT), and the RTS index was down 3.56%, to 1,731.88 points. "We expect the country's debt/GDP benchmark ratio to be under 5% by the end of the year. The debt sustainability indicator in Russia is, probably, one of the best in the world. Therefore, we believe Russia's monetary authorities will overcome external shocks without big losses," Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak said. Global stock markets continued their slide from last week, when a plunge in Chinese shares prompted a fall on Wall Street and other trading floors. Russian experts said the domestic stock market will continue its downward correction. The deputy finance minister said the country's budget is well insulated from external pressures and government finances can be described as quite stable. Russia is repaying its foreign debt and has accumulated more than $300 billion in gold and foreign exchange reserves and over $100 billion in its Stabilization Fund established to accrue surplus revenues from high world oil prices, Storchak said. "Of course, this does not mean that Russian entrepreneurs will be unaffected, if a major financial crisis breaks out. But this is an issue of their professional approach to governance and risk management," Storchak said. The official said the ruble's confident rise was attracting more foreign investors to Russia, as demonstrated by a record capital inflow of $41 billion last year.
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