Moody's confirmed Russia's investment rating

Moody's Investors Service confirmed the rating of the Russian bonds in foreign exchange, Russia's ruble bonds and all Eurobonds at the Baa3 level, the agency's press release reads.

The agency also confirmed its decision to raise the ratings of the Russian Ministry of Finance's sixth and seventh tranches from Ba3 to Ba1 and the Finance Ministry's fifth tranche to the Ba2 level. The forecast of all ratings is stable.

In the agency's opinion, the developments associated with Yukos do not speak to a change in the market orientation of Russia's economic development or in the government's economic policy. The current developments, no matter what the end result, will not affect Russia's ability to fully and timely service its debt obligations, the press release notes.

According to the agency's information, Russia's total state debt in 1999 made up 298 percent of the GDP. In 2003, it made up 81 percent.

The agency estimates that in 2004-2006 Russia will need to spend 3-6 percent of its budget revenues on servicing the debt (the Eurobonds and the Finance Ministry's tranches).

Russia's gold and foreign exchange reserves increased from $8.5 billion in 1999 to $64 billion in 2003, the press release notes.

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