Moody´s downgrades Russian banks

Moody's changed its outlook for Russian banks from stable to negative
Moody´s rating agency says the economic turmoil could seriously affect Russian banking.

The global rating agency changed its outlook for Russian banks from stable to negative over the coming 12 – 18 months, warning against a money deficit, lower credit growth and worsening quality of assets.

It's worried about Russia's reliance on energy, which makes it especially vulnerable to swings in global energy demand.

In terms of overall economic dynamics Moody's says, “Russia's real GDP growth will decelerate to 2.8% in 2012, from an estimated  3.8% in 2011.”

Continued capital outflow and downward pressure on the rouble were among other important concerns for the agency, noted Eugene Tarzimanov, Moody's Vice President and author of the Report.

Some Russian experts agree that credit is becoming less available, as banks increase their rates and require more guarantees from a borrower. Already new applications are at least 1% more expensive than they were a month ago, Ludmila Lebedeva, President of the First Republican Bank, told Vedomosti.

However, Anatoly Aksakov, President at the Association of Russian banks, thinks Russia’s banking is much better prepared for any shock than it was in 2008.

“There is some tension in the market, but the situation is controllable. The Bank of Russia has a wide range of instruments to influence, but hasn’t used that so far as there are no serious conditions for that,” he said.