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Russia's finance minister said on Thursday that the country's banks
Russia's finance minister said on Thursday that the country's banks are not suffering from low liquidity, and should be able to cope with any upcoming upsets on world markets.

"The liquidity problem on the markets has been settled... The interbank credit rate last year averaged at 4.5%, and in January (2008) it was already at 2%. We believe that there are currently no problems," Alexei Kudrin told foreign policymakers and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

However the finance chief, who is also a deputy prime minister, said that Russian banks could suffer from a liquidity crunch if the global economic problems sparked by the U.S. subprime mortgage meltdown are aggravated in the near future.

"We expect certain problems [with Russian banks' liquidity], if the international crisis events are exacerbated, but on the whole I think we are prepared for this situation, and can cope with it," Kudrin said.

Earlier in the day the head of Russia's largest state-owned bank Sberbank, German Gref, said the bank would be able to support the liquidity of the country's banking system.

On Wednesday the finance minister hailed Russia's economy as a 'haven of stability', amid slumping global stock markets, and suggested that Moscow could offer financial assistance to the international community.

However, stocks of Russia's Rosneft oil company and leading banks Sberbank and VTB, which held IPOs last year, made major losses on Wednesday, losing 2.7-6.5%.


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