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Interest rates reduction was possible, on the one hand, due to the deceleration of inflationary pressure in the economy. Thus, from April 1 to 20, the growth of consumer prices made 0.6 per cent, which is almost twice lower, than the relevant indicator of preceding year, while the accumulated inflation rate remained actually equal and amounted to per cent per annum. On the other hand, the devaluation expectations have been changed, which is confirmed by both, the dynamics in individual and business deposits structure (the share of foreign currency deposits has expressly decreased), and the net purchases of foreign currency by the RF Central Bank (i.e., the offer exceeds the demand for foreign currency). At the current moment, Russian banks are not experiencing problems with liquidity, so this measure is aimed at reduction of the cost of credits for non-financial sector (today the share of credits of the Central Bank amounts to 13 per cent or more in the liabilities to the banking system, while large banks share accounts up to 30 per cent).

However, there is still no reason to expect the reduction of rates on loans to the banks, as RUSSIAN ECONOMY: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES the latter include still rather high credit risks in the interest rate. Nevertheless, having reduced the refinancing rate, the Central bank has demonstrated to the market participants, that the refinancing rate is not going to be upgraded in the short term. This decision also indicates a softening in monetary policy.

Together with the interest rates decrease, the Board of Directors of the Bank of Russia has decided to extend the terms of a stepwise increase of mandatory reserves limits.

It should be reminded, that on Jan. 19, 2009, due to a difficult situation in the financial sector, caused by the financial crisis, the RF CB has postponed the deadlines for extension of currently effective limits to May 1, 2009 (the planned increase was up to 1,5 per cent) and to June 1, 2009 planned increase is up to 2,5 per cent). According to the new order of the Central Bank, those standards will be increased stepwise by 0,5 per cent: from May 1, 2009 - up to 1 per cent, and from June 1 - up to 1,5 per cent, from July 1 - up to 2 per cent and from August 1 up to 2,5 per cent. In our opinion, the decision to extend mandatory deductions to FOR stepwise is based on the growing arrears of banks. In addition, the sharp upgrading of mandatory deductions to FOR could cause further reduction of credits to the real sector.

FINANCIAL MARKETS FINANCIAL MARKETSN.Burkova, E.Khudko The1 positive response of international investors to the plan to the world economy recovery, developed during the summit of the Governments of the big twenty, positive macroeconomic news from the United States and financial results of several international companies, EU Central Bank reducing the refinancing rate to 1.25 per cent per annum, as well as approval by the Government of the Russian Federation measures to support financial markets and national labor market, strengthening of the national currency have contributed to the growth of the Russian stock market. However, information about the forthcoming bankruptcy of the largest American automotive producers General Motors Corp. and Chrysler as a result of rejection of their crisis recovery plans by the U.S. Government, net losses of the U.S. bank Morgan Stanley in the first quarter of 2009 and raising the level of unemployment in the United States, as well as the increased inflation in Russia and a significant reduction in net profit of OAO Gazprom and Sberbank of Russia in 2008 have restricted the growth rate of the Russian financial market. Herewith, those positive trends were especially expressed in the stock market, where the active investors has grown by 22 per cent, and the quotations of shares of all blue chips have increased. The signs of recovery of domestic corporate bond market were observed. The activity of investors has significantly increased in the secondary corporate bond market. Adverse effects were an increase in the number cancelled bond issues and sustained large number of defaults.

Government Securities Market Within April, the information on a reduced internal and external national debt of the Russian federation by 1.7 per cent and 6.4 per cent within the first quarter, RUR rate stabilization, on the one hand, and inflation growth, negative situation with liquidity, as well as deteriorated situation with liquidity due to a regular tax payment schedule extensive offer of Minfin Federal Bonds, and on the other hand, have resulted in the declined dynamics of the Russian foreign currency securities yields. Ruble-denominated government bond market in April, like a month earlier, was also marked by a moderately positive dynamics against the background of optimistic expectations of the investors.

As of April 26, the Russian Eurobonds RUS-30 yield to maturity has decreased as compared with the level of March 23 from 8.72 to 8.53 per cent per annum (by 2.07 per cent), RUS-28 from 9.44 per cent to 8.63 per cent per annum (by 8.58 per cent), RUS-18 from 7.25 to 5.75 per cent per annum (by 20.69 per cent) and RUS-10 from 5.21 per cent to 2.per cent per annum (by 26.68 per cent). As of the same date, the upgrading trend was observed in the yields of external currency debt bonds.Thus, the yield to redemption of the seventh tranche of external currency debt bonds has grown from 4.93 to 5.01 per cent per annum (by 1.61 per cent) (see Figs 1-2).

Within the period from March 24 to April 26 the total turnover of the OFZ secondary market amounted to approximately RUR 12.13 billion with an average daily turnover of RUR 0.51 billion (about RUR 8.96 billion with an average daily turnover of RUR 0.47 bil1 In the course of preparation of the survey, there were used analytical materials and surveys published by the Interfax, MICEX, RTS, RF Central Bank and the materials presented at web sites of Russian issuing companies.

RUSSIAN ECONOMY: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES 5,10% lion in March), what correTranche sponds to the growth of an 5,00% average monthly turnover over 8.5 per cent.

4,90% Within March 24 April 4,80% 26, after the absence of auctions in preceding period 4,70% (February 24 March 23), there were three auctions 4,60% on additional OFZ placement (25064 series). Thus, 4,50% an auction on additional placement of OFZ series 25064 was held on April 15 for the amount of RUR Fig. 1 Minfi n bonds yields to maturity in February April 1 billion, actual placement volume reached RUR 0.bln (i.e., 86 per cent of the issue) with an average weighted yield of 12.05 per cent per annum. On April 17 there took place an auction on additional OFZ series 25064 placement for the amount of RUR 2 bln, actual placement volume reached RUR 1.37 bln (i.e., 68.5 per cent of the issue) with an average weighted yield of 12.39 per cent. Moreover, on April 22 there was an auction on additional OFZ of the same series 25064 for the amount of RUR 2.94 bln, actual placement volume reached RUR 0.34 (i.e., 11.56 per cent of the issue) with an average weighted yield of 12.49 per cent per annum.

As of April 26, the OFZ market amounted to RUR 1132.42 bln at face value and to RUR 1818.43 bln at market value. The duration of the GKO-OFZ market portfolio was 1791.days, having decreased (by 64.27 days) as compared with preceding month (as of March 23).

Stock market Stock market situation Positive trends in the external world markets, based on the decisions of the big twenty governments to encourage the global economy, upgrading quotations of the global oil prices and increasing global stock indices have contributed to 11,00% an upsurge of the Russian 10,00% financial market in April.

9,00% Moreover,, the actions of 8,00% the Russian Government 7,00% to support the national fi6,00% nancial and labor markets 5,00% (in particular, reducing 4,00% the refinancing rate from 3,00% RUS-2030 RUS-April 24 to 12.5 per cent RUS-2018 RUS-2,00% per annum and additional subventions from the federal budget to support the labor market of the RF Fig. 2 Yields to maturity of the Russian Eurobonds with maturity in 2010, 2018, Subjects in the amount of 2028 and 2030 in February - April RUR 2.5 billion), strength03. MARKETS 140 2 100,ening of the national cur- The total volume of trading 130 1 950,(roubles, billion) 120 1 800,rency, the disclosure of MICEX Index 110 1 650,financial performance of 100 1 500,90 1 350,a number of major Rus80 1 200,sian companies have also 70 1 050,60 900,provided positive effect 50 750,on investors expectations 40 600,30 450,and contributed to the im20 300,provement of the situation 10 150,0 0,in the domestic market.

All those factors have urged the upgrading of the most liquid securities Fig. 3. Dynamics of MICEX Index and trading volume in the Russian stock markets (by 10-20 per cent o average), as well as the majority of MICEX and RTS market stock indices growth as of the month results (See Table 1)..

Throughout April, a general growing dynamics was observed in the Russian stock market (Fig. 3). Herewith, there were short-term corrective trends in the MICEX index.

The minimum value the MICEX index has reached on April 2, having downgraded to 787.points (646.79 points in the preceding month). The maximum value the MICEX index has reached on April 17, having reached 932.90 points (849.82 per cent points in the preceding month).

In general, within the period from March 24 to April 26, the MICEX index has significantly grown by 13 per cent, what makes about 107.2 points in absolute terms (within the year, from April 27, 2008 to April 26, 2009, the MICEX index has downgraded by 55 per cent).

Over the same period the turnover of trades in shares, included in the MICEX index, made about RUR 1 144.42 bln at an average daily turnover of RUR 47.68 bln against RUR 743.30 billion with an average daily turnover of RUR 39.12 billion in the preceding period). Therefore, the investors daily activity in the stock market in April has increased as compared with the preceding month nearly by 22 per cent.The indicators of maximum and minimum daily turnover in the market trades in April made, accordingly, RUR 78.bln as of April 14), and RUR 32.42 bln (on April 1).

As of the month results (from March 24 through April 26), all blue chips securities have shown an upgrading trend. The leaders of the upgrading rates were Mosenergo, the value of which shares has increased by 78.64 per cent and 72.89 per cent. Some lower growing rates were observed about the shares of GMK Nornickel (by 19.89 per cent), Sberbank of Russia, (18.79 per cent), LUKOIL and Gazprom and VTB Bank shares, accordingly.Some lower growing rates were observed about the shares of Tatneft (by 55.25 per cent), and Rosneft (by 49.81 per cent).They were followed by the shares of Surgutneftegas (by 31.per cent), Gazprom Neft (by 30.07 per cent) LUKOIL (by 12.63 per cent) and Gazprom (by 12.53 per cent). The least growth was observed about the shares of Rostelecom (by 8.63 per cent) and Rostelecom (by 8.63 per cent) (See Fig. 4).

In April the MICEX turnover leaders were:Sberbank of Russia (38.03 per cent of the total turnover), Gazprom(21.78 per cent of the total turnover), LUKOIL (8.27 per cent), GMK Nornickel (7.75 per cent), and Rosneft (4.58 per cent). Herewith, the significant growth in transactions with the Sberbank of Russia equities has grown twice as compared with preceding period, What has led to further upgrading of Sberbank of Russia quotations as a leader of MICEX stock market turnover. It should be noted, that the reduction roubles, billion points ECONOMY: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES 80,0% in trading volume of 70,0% Gazprom shares, among Change in price (%) 60,0% other things, was the reduced net income of 50,0% Gazprom in accordance 40,0% with the Russian 30,0% accounting standards in 2008 has decreased twice 20,0% as compared with 10,0% (to RUR 173 billion).Total 0,0% share of transactions with the above five companies equities (blue chips) made about 80.42 per cent (all blue chips 87.per cent) of the gross turnover in the MICEX Fig. 4. Dynamics of the Russian Blue Chips from March 24 to April 26, stock market in the period from March 24 to April 26.

According to MICEX information, as of March 26, the top five leaders of the domestic stock market in terms of capitalization, estimated on monthly average results, were: Gazprom RUR 2 925.1 bln (RUR 2 708,01 bin in March), Rosneft RUR 1 448.88 bln (RUR 1 173.37 bln in preceding month), LUKOIL - RUR 1 074.92 bln (RUR 1 015.bln in preceding month), Surgutneftegas - RUR 863.7 bln (RUR 690.76 bln in preceding month) and Sberbank of Russia - RUR 458.29 bln (against RUR 327.91 bln).

Futures and Options Market In April, the activity of investors in the short-term MICEX market has decreased by 17 per cent as compared with the preceding month. Thus, in the period from March through April 26 the total turnover in the MICEX futures market made approximately RUR 48.73 bln (3101 of transactions, 1.27 mln of contracts), against approximately RUR 59.18 bln (2,080 transactions, 1.53 mln of contracts) in March. Herewith, the largest volume of trading in April as a month earlier, was observed in the futures RUR/USD, amounting to RUR 44.02 billion (230 transactions, 1.52 mln of contracts). Herewith, prices of futures contracts, concluded in the current month in RUR/USD in the short-term MICEX market were made within 34- 34.5 for April, 34-35 RUR/USD for June, 34.5-35 RUR/USD for July, 35.435.8 RUR/USD for September, 3637 RUR/USD for December and 3639 RUR/ USD for September 2009.Thus, we can conclude that investors expectations regarding the growth of the dollar rate over the months have downgraded by RUR 1-3 as compared with the preceding month. The greatest number of transactions (2,157) within the month was made with commodity futures, the volume of trades in which has reached RUR 4.36 billion.

for interest ratesAn adverse situation was noted at RTS FORTS futures market, where the investors activity in April has significantly grown as compared with the preceding month.

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