By Emre Gürkan Abay
Russia Letter – Moscow – week beginning May 2

Russia Letter – Moscow – week beginning May 2

 - Russian CB keeps rate unchanged

 Russian markets will be closed for the most part of this week due to Easter and Worker’s Day celebrations, however last week witnessed some important events concerning the Russian economy.

The most important announcement came from the country’s Central Bank.

After its third meeting this year on Friday, the bank announced once again that they were keeping the interest rates at 11 percent.

The bank said that although there were positive signals towards the recovery of the Russian economy, lowering interest rates may be possible in the next meetings when it is certain that inflation targets have been achieved.

Another important announcement came from the country’s Ministry of Economy and Development. Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 1.8 percent for the year in March and by 1.4 percent in the January to March period, the Economic Development Ministry said in a report Friday.

- Gazprom profits soar

Russia’s Gazprom, the world’s largest natural gas company in terms of proven reserves, announced that its net profit increased fivefold in 2015.

According to the company’s announcement, its full-year net profit grew last year to $12.2 billion (787 billion rubles), due to a rise in exports and to a cheaper ruble.

- Panama papers

Finally, research conducted by Russia’s Levada Center has revealed that Russian citizens are mostly unaware or are unconcerned in the Panama documents, which negatively reflect on some well-known Russian figures who are implicated in tax avoidance practices.

According to the research which was announced last week, 53 percent of Russian citizens have received no information on the Panama papers, while 29 percent of the citizens have information but remain uninterested in the matter.

The report comes at a time when tax avoidance has become a hot topic following the leak of the Panama Papers revealing the activities of global corporations in offshore procedures.

03 May,2016