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In the first nine months of 2004, investments in the Russian economy grew 12.2%
In the first nine months of 2004, investments in the Russian economy grew 12.2%, Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Shatalov said Monday at the Russia: Investments in a Growth Economy conference. In the first half of 2004, direct foreign investments in the Russian economy were $3.4 billion as compared to $2.5 billion during the same period last year. Despite a quantitative increase, the share of direct foreign investments has slightly decreased from 20% to approximately 18% of the total amount, the deputy minister said. According to him, this is because there was a considerable growth in other investments, including investments in the form of loans to Russian companies by foreign investors. The amount of other investments in the first half of this year stood at $15.4 billion (81.3 % of the total investments) in comparison with $10.1 billion during the same period the last year, Mr. Shatalov noted. In the first half of 2004, the largest amount of foreign investments were made into industry ($10.3 billion), the second largest amount were in trade ($16.1 billion). Civil engineering, transportation and communications also received a large portion of the investments, the deputy minister said. As of July 1, the amount of the accumulated foreign investments in the Russian economy totaled $66.1 billion, Mr. Shatalov noted. According to the Finance Ministry's forecasts, on January 1, 2006, the stabilization fund will be 719.5 billion rubles ($1 is 29.22 rubles). Mr. Shatalov reminded the conference that according the ministry's forecasts, on January 1, 2005, the stabilization fund will be 574.4 billion rubles. The deputy minister said that part of the 338 billion rubles, which will be added the fund in 2005, would be used to cover the deficit of the Pension Fund (74.7 billion rubles) and pay off the foreign debt (168 billion rubles). The limitations, provided for by the 2004 federal budget, do not allow the Finance Ministry to make a decision on delaying Yukos' tax payments. According to Mr. Shatalov, postponing the tax payments is only possible only within the limits fixed in the federal budget. The deputy minister said that the legislation envisages a change in the timeframe of the back tax payments. According to him, as rule, this takes place before the trial, but in some cases this is also possible after the trial. Mr. Shatalov underscored that all the tax bodies' claims against Yukos "have passed through judicial procedures." The deputy minister noted that because of the administrative reform, the function of granting tax extensions is within the authority of the tax services, not the Finance Ministry.
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