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37

Russian State Firms' Borrowings Share Grows

The Russian Central Bank has disclosed the composition of Russia's foreign debt

The Russian Central Bank has disclosed the composition of Russia?s foreign debt. The share of borrowings of state-owned companies and agencies is growing, up 13 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005, to $148.7 billion at the start of 2006, Cbonds.info reported.

The Central Bank has released the Analytical Report on the Russian Foreign Debt to Non-Residents yesterday, showing shares of state agencies, state-owned companies and companies with major state presence (of over 50 percent) in the composite debt which totaled $258.5 billion as of January 1, this year.

The foreign debt of the government sector, including borrowings by banks and non-financial enterprises with major state presence, came to $148.7 billion by the start of the year, up $17.3 billion from October 1, last year. The private sector accounts for $109.8 billion in the debt.

The Finance Ministry earlier reported the state portion of the Russian foreign debt was made up of $71.4 billion borrowed by government bodies and $11 billion of money and credit regulation agencies. $66.5 billion can be now added to the sum. These are $19.4 billion of borrowings of state-run banks and $47.1 billion debts of non-financial companies. The latter grew the fastest in the last quarter of 2005, up $14.2 billion.

Experts predict the debt of the state-owned non-financial sector to remain the same or even shrink, saying that Gazprom does not need to borrow, given current profits, while Rosneft is getting ready for the IPO after which it will pay back debts to Western creditors.