The credit crunch heads east: Russian banks prepare for battle

Peter Lee
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Just as banks in Russia were beginning to resemble their peers outside the country, engaging in conventional retail and corporate banking, the western financial market crisis hit. Reduced availability of long-term funding from abroad highlights the shortage of such a market in Russia and reveals a systemic vulnerability. Will this help state-owned banks, which had previously been losing market share, turn the tables on their privately owned rivals?