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Russian Finance Minister Warns of Wider Budget Deficit This Year

  • Finance Ministry estimates 2016 deficit at up to 3.7% of GDP
  • Bashneft, Rosneft sales planned in 2016; few seen in 2017

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov warned that the budget gap will be wider this year than earlier forecast, forcing Russia to step up the pace of domestic borrowing.

The deficit may widen to 3.5 percent to 3.7 percent of gross domestic product this year, beyond the earlier estimate of 3.2 percent, according to Siluanov. The government is pushing forward on sales of stakes in oil producers Bashneft PJSC and Rosneft PJSC in 2016, but has no major privatization proceeds in next year’s budget, he told reporters at a conference in the Black Sea city of Sochi on Friday.