Downward Tendency of Inflation Rate to Provide Opportunity for Long-Term Borrowing between Russia's Regions

The inflation rate in Russia will be no higher than 10% in 2003. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this forecast was made today by Deputy Russian Minister of Finance Bella Zlatkis, speaking at the round-table discussion 'The credit potential of Russian regions.' The deputy minister said that the government is already making provisional plans for budgets up to 2005 . According to the ministry's estimates the inflation rate will decrease by 2-3% a year in 2004 and 2005. Mrs Zlatkis said that this reduction in the inflation rate will provide an opportunity for long-term borrowing between regions. 'Over the next 2-3 years long-term borrowing will be fastest developing sector of the Russian credit market,' she added. She estimates that over the next few years regions will be able to borrow money for periods of up to 6-8 years at an annual rate of interest no higher than 13-14%. 'This will give regions the opportunity to invest in some long-term programmes,' said the deputy minister.

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