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Russia's Putin urges banks to boost lending

Russia's Putin urges banks to boost lending

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday urged Russia's state-controlled banks to boost lending to major industries and advised their heads not to take their summer vacations until this was done.
Russia's economy has been hit hard by the global financial crisis, with borrowing reduced sharply. Stock markets and the national currency have regained some of their initial losses, but businesses still complain that credit is hard to come by.
At a meeting with government ministers and bankers, Putin urged state-controlled banks to boost their loan portfolios by at least 150 billion rubles ($4.8 billion) in July, and by similar amounts in August and September.
He cited the government's decision to allocate 300 billion rubles ($9.6 billion) in guarantees on loans to strategic enterprises.
"The government has met you half way and takes on the main risks," Putin said in televised remarks. "In return, the government hopes that with these new opportunities the banks will gradually expand lending for priority sectors and cut the cost of the loans."
The 300 billion rubles was included in this year's budget. The government has previously voiced concern that the banks were reluctant to lend to strategic enterprises, which include military plants, carmakers and agriculture producers.
Russia's economy has continued to slide, with gross domestic product dropping by an annual 11 percent in May. A deputy economics minister warned last week that it would be a "heroic achievement" if Russia posted a GDP decline this year of 6 percent to 8 percent _ roughly in line with official forecasts.


Updated : 2021-08-05 12:28 GMT+08:00