Stocks Plunging, Russia Closes Market

Micex falls 10%
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2008 12:49 PM CDT
A MICEX (Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange) trader works during a trading session in Moscow on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008.    (AP Photo/ Alexander Zemlianichenko)
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(Newser) – Russia shut down trading for the second day in a row after the benchmark Micex index plummeted 10%, Bloomberg reports. The Finance Ministry announced that it was pouring $44 billion into Russia’s three top banks, Sberbank, VTB, and Gazprombank. But foreign investors have pulled $35 billion from Russia’s stocks, as Russia’s decade-long economic boom comes crashing to a close.

“I will tell my clients today to continue to abstain from buying Russian assets,” said the manager of one Russian equities fund. As in America, credit has tightened in Russia, with foreign lending drying up and banks leery of lending to each other. The Finance Ministry hopes the money it’s pumping into Sberbank, VTB, and Gazprombank will circulate throughout the system.