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    RUSSIAN PREMIER: BANKING SECTOR'S GROWTH MUST OUTPACE NATIONAL ECONOMY'S DEVELOPMENT BY THREE TIMES

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    MOSCOW, February 11, 2004. (RIA Novosti). Russia's banking sector must grow at rates outpacing the development of the national economy as a whole by three time, Mikhail Kasyanov said. While opening on Wednesday the Cabinet's meeting he stressed that maintaining high economic development rates is impossible without outpacing growth rates of the banking sector.

    According to Kasyanov, over two years that have passed since the adoption of the national strategy of the banking sector's development some positive results have been achieved: the assets of the banks grow, the deposits by the population increase, as well as the quantity and volumes of credits granted to the economy and the population. However, "all this is insufficient as the development of the banking sector is lagging behind from the development of the economy as a whole," Kasyanov said. Whereas the size of the assets of the banking sector in West European states reaches 400 percent of the GDP, in the countries of Central Europe where the reforms started earlier than in Russia - 100 per cent, in Russia this index makes up 40 percent of the GDP, the Russian premier said.

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