December 26, 2014 / 11:38 AM / 3 years ago

Russia's Finance Minister sees economy shrinking 4 percent in 2015

Russia's Finance Minister Anton Siluanov attends the Reuters Russia Investment Summit in Moscow September 24, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Friday that the Russian economy could contract by 4 percent next year and that the budget could have a deficit of more than 3 percent of gross domestic product if oil prices average $60 a barrel.

Siluanov also told journalists that his ministry had recalculated its budget forecasts to take into account oil prices at $60 a barrel and that he expected the ruble’s average exchange rate to be around 51 rubles per dollar in 2015.

He added that state bank VTB (VTBR.MM) could get 100 billion rubles ($1.9 billion) from the National Wealth Fund by the end of the year and 150 billion rubles more in 2015, while Gazprombank GZPRI.RTS could get 70 billion rubles this or next year.

Reporting by Dasha Korsunskaya; writing by Alexander Winning and Vladimir Soldatkin

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