17 Nov 2010 12:50

Lower interest in Russia could complicate borrowing - Zlatkis

MOSCOW. Nov 17 (Interfax) - Lower interest in Russia could complicate the prospects for the country's borrowing, Sberbank deputy chief Bella Zklatkis said.

"Russia isn't currently in fashion. There's no particular difference between Brazil and Russia, but Brazil's in fashion and Russia isn't. That's also one of today's realities," Zlatkis said at the 7th Federal Investment Forum.

It might become hard for Russia to refinance its debt and sell it in the future, she said.

"America's debt is absolutely tradable and can absolutely be refinanced. But here even a lower ranking official only has to sneeze for our debt to stop being tradable," she said.

Zlatkis said lower interest in Russia was reducing capital inflow, which "of course makes our markets less volatile." Despite this, Russia's low external debt "gives the Finance Ministry reason to believe that it can borrow as much as it likes abroad," she said.

Zlatkis said she thought having tradable public debt was crucial to the ruble's convertibility. "The presence of tradable debt is enough for it to be traded the world over and be a recognizable and serious instrument in the international markets - this is very important for the ruble's convertibility," Zlatkis said.