08/21/1998 15:57:29 Russia '98 current account deficit 1.5-2 pct-c.bank
MOSCOW, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Russia is now running a current
account deficit of between 1.5 and two percent of the gross
domestic product, a top central bank official said on Friday.
"A current account deficit is in place in Russia, and we
estimate it to be from 1.5 to two percent of GDP this year, but
we do believe that our measures will help to finance this
deficit," First Central Bank Deputy Chairman Sergei Aleksashenko
told Reuters Television.
Aleksashenko, speaking in a live conference call with
financial analysts, said International Monetary Fund and World
Bank support would also help to cover the deficit.
Last year Russia had a current account surplus equal to 0.7
percent of GDP.
Aleksashenko said Russia's programme for tackling the
financial crisis, agreed with the IMF last month as part of a
deal to secure $11.2 billion in new credits, was still in place.
"We will do our best to achieve all the goals," he added.
However, analysts still had doubts about where Russia would
find the dollars to meet its foreign debt obligations.
"I suspect there are still some doubts as to where the
dollar financing comes from next, and it's not possible to give
a clean bill of health to the question of external default,"
said Richard Gray, an analyst at Bank of America in London.
Duncan Webster at Hypo Bank in Munich also had doubts over
the balance of payments.
"There's going to have to be a major turnaround in the
current account and that's going to keep investors very nervous
about the prospects for a significant further rouble
devaluation," he said.
((Julie Tolkacheva, Moscow Newsroom, +7095 941-8520