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Russia Instructs Top Exporters To Limit Foreign Currency Assets

The Russian government has instructed five of the country's biggest state-controlled exporters to limit foreign currency assets as part of its efforts to support the ruble.

The energy companies Gazprom, Rosneft, and Zarubezhneft as well as diamond businesses Alrosa and Kristall were instructed on December 23 to reduce their foreign currency reserves to October levels and to not raise them again until March.

Low oil prices and Western sanctions have pushed the country toward recession and hurt the ruble, which last week hit a record low against the dollar.

On December 23, the Russian currency was steady as it has been for the past few trading sessions, floating around the 55 mark against the dollar.

Meanwhile, credit rating agency S&P said Russia might face a downgrade.

Any cut from the current BBB- would push Russia's debt rating into "junk" status.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

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