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Russia hit hard by global credit crisis

The recent extreme volatility on the global markets - and the bank bailouts in the US and western Europe - have had a profound effect on the Russian economy.

According to two mining firms, the crisis is leading commodities firms to sell some of the assets which have powered growth over recent years.

Both Polymetal and Polyus Gold are reporting the sell-offs, Reuters reports.

Polyus chief executive Yevgeny Ivanov said: "The tendency is clear: we are witnessing a revision of all prospects.

"Many gold projects, which earlier planned an initial public offering of their shares or a sale to a strategic investors, are in deadlock for lack of funding."

Vitaly Nesis, chief executive of Polymetal, added: "In the conditions of the crisis, the owners of the assets are less optimistic about the prospect of a public offering on an exchange.

"The long-awaited process of owners revising down their asset value has already started."

Moscow's two main stock exchanges, the Micex and the RTS, were also closed earlier this week due to the near-panic of US investors following congress' rejection of the government's rescue plan.