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Moody's Downgrades Ratings Of Russia's Biggest Banks

Moody's rating agency has downgraded seven Russian financial institutions due to the country's worsening credit situation.

Moody's said in a February 24 statement that Sberbank, Bank VTB JSC, Gazprombank, Russian Agricultural Bank, the Agency for Housing Mortgage Lending OJSC, Vnesheconombank, and Alfa-Bank were downgraded because of the "weakening of Russia's credit profile" after Moody's decision four days ago to lower the Russian government's debt rating to Ba1 from Baa3.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Moody's cut was "political" and not justified based on economics.

Moody's said the ratings of the seven entities were being lowered by one notch and that the long-term ratings of those institutions is negative.

The statement also referred to the "the likelihood of [systemic] government support being made available to each institution."

VTB responded to Moody's downgrade by saying it would have no impact on the bank's operations.

With reporting by TASS
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