Russian markets resume trading

Russian markets, which were suspended last week, have opened again on Monday. The country's two stock exchanges, the MICEX and the RTS, did not open for full trading on Friday following instructions from the financial markets' regulator.

Russian finance minister Alexey Kudrin told journalists on Saturday that it would be senseless to suspend trading on the Russian stock exchanges for a long time.

“Now they are speaking about this measure more and more often,” he said. “But it will not change anything in principle: there will be an unregulated, off-exchange market. Then we will have to ban a lot of other things.”

Meanwhile, the Russian government is undertaking measures to tackle the ongoing crisis. According to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the state-owned Development Bank is starting to pump 175 billion rubles into the stock markets this week. Kudrin added that the government will move to enable Russian pension funds to invest in the country’s stock markets as well. 

The State Duma passed a package of bills on Friday, aimed at stabilising the financial system. Measures by the Central Bank and Finance Ministry are reported to be on a similar scale to the overall cost of the crisis, equivalent to 10 % of GDP.

This weekend saw European banks agree on emergency measures to stabilise stock markets and restore liquidity. Germany plans to provide banks with 400 billion euros of liquidity and the United Kingdom has approved another 70 billion dollar rescue plan.

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