Russian stocks plunge to three-year lows
Trading on Russia's two leading stock markets was twice halted on Monday as stocks plunged to three-year lows amid deepening woes on the European markets and a dive in oil prices, reported dpa.
Russia's ruble-denominated MICEX dropped 16.7 per cent to 757.44 points before trading was suspended for the second time on Monday afternoon, while the dollar-denominated RTS free fell 15 per cent to below the 1,000-point mark to as low as 902.37 points.
Facing the worst financial crisis since the national default in 1998, the Finance Ministry earlier earmarked over 150 billion dollars in loans primarily to bolster liquidity in the financial sector.
On Monday, Deputy Economy Minister Andrei Klepach said authorities were working on a new economic rescue package.
An additional 44 billion dollars were pledged to Russia's three largest banks - Sberbank, VTB Group and Gazprombank - whose stocks again plummeted Monday.
Monolith Sberbank dropped as much as 22 per cent, while the country's largest company, state-owned oil giant Gazprom fell 19 per cent on Monday.
The RTS has lost 62 per cent from its all time high in May as oil fell to 90 dollars per barrel and amid capital flight over political uncertainties after Russia's mid-August war with Georgia