Russia not to use funds to support stock market: Putin

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Moscow, Sep 19 (UNI) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said the Finance Ministry does not deem it possible to use the Reserve Fund or the National Prosperity Fund to support the stock market.

''The Russian Finance Ministry does not consider it possible at this time to use the Reserve Fund or the National Prosperity Fund to these ends," Mr Putin said yesterday, while addressing a meeting of foreign businessmen in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Mr Putin said Russia would not close its market for foreign business.

"Our policy remains unchanged," he said, adding "there will be no 'closing of the market', no mobilisation model of economic development." He stressed Russia would not take any "politically motivated decisions in economic relations." Russia's main financial regulator announced yesterday that it would allow the country's two main stock exchanges to resume equity trading today.

The Federal Financial Markets Service halted trading on the RTS and MICEX on Wednesday after share prices plummeted to their lowest levels in nearly three years amid worsening global financial troubles.

In a move to shore up market liquidity, the Russian government said on Wednesday it would lend up to (44 billion dollars) to state-controlled Sberbank, VTB and Gazprombank, the main market-making banks, which would subsequently offer loans to small and medium-size banks.

The Finance Ministry divided the former Stabilisation Fund into the Reserve Fund, designed to cushion the federal budget in the event of an oil price plunge, and the National Prosperity Fund, designed to help Russia carry out pension reforms, on February 1 this year.

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