Financial Times: Russia halts trading after 17% share price fall
The heads of the Russian central bank, the finance ministry and the financial market regulator met on Tuesday night for an emergency discussion on ways to halt the crisis.
Earlier, trading had been suspended on both the Micex and RTS stock exchanges as investors ignored assurances by Russian officials and a cycle of distrust set in amid liquidity fears.
Margin calls forced domestic traders to liquidate positions and brokers pulled credit lines. At least one Moscow bank failed to meet payments.
The rouble-denominated Micex Index closed 17.75 per cent down, the sharpest one-day drop since the August 1998 financial crisis, while the dollar-denominated RTS index closed down 11.47 per cent, its lowest lvel since January 2006.
Interbank money market rates climbed to 11 per cent, their highest since a mini-banking crisis in summer 2004.
Chris Weafer, chief strategist at Uralsib investment bank: “We’re in completely uncharted territory where the prevailing emotion is of fear and numbnes. No one knows where this could stop”.
Alexei Kudrin, finance minister, insisted that the financial system was not in a systemic crisis but the central bank injected a record $14.16bn in one-day funds into the money market. ...