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Meltdown reaches Russia
  Hedgeweb - WED, SEP 17 2008
News Russia??s two main bourses, RTS and MICEX, suspended trading until further notice on Wednesday, after shares continued to tumble one day after their steepest decline in more than a decade.

The dollar-denominated RTS was down 6.4 percent and the rouble denominated MICEX was down 3.1 per cent when the suspension was enforced with the two main state-controlled banks, Sberbank and VTB leading the slide.

Earlier on Wednesday a high-level government source said the government would unveil measures aimed at stabilising the market situation in the next two to three days.

Certain signs of a crisis are seen on the market but they are mostly emotional, the source who asked not to be named told the Reuters news agency.

Russian shares suffered their steepest one-day fall in more than a decade on Tuesday, losing up to 20 per cent, as a sharp slide in oil prices and difficult money market conditions triggered a rush to sell.

The heads of the Russian central bank, the finance ministry and the financial market regulator met on Tuesday night for an emergency discussion on ways to halt the crisis.

Earlier, trading had been suspended on both the Micex and RTS stock exchanges .

Shares in Russia??s biggest state-controlled banks led the slide with Sberbank, the state-controlled savings bank, closing 21.72 per cent down and VTB losing 29.26 per cent. The bank was suffered on investor fears about its securities portfolio, which makes up about 10 per cent of its assets.

KIT Finance, a Moscow investment house, confirmed rumours that it had been unable to make payment on a series of short-term loans.

The rouble-denominated Micex Index closed 17.75 per cent down on Tuesday, the sharpest one-day drop since the August 1998 financial crisis.

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