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    Capital flight increase not down to worse investment climate: Central Bank

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    MOSCOW, July 6 (RIA Novosti) - The head of Russia's Central Bank said Wednesday that an increase in net capital flight from Russia was not due to a deterioration in the country's investment climate.

    "I would not make hasty conclusions," Sergei Ignatyev told the State Duma, the lower house of parliament.

    Ignatyev said net capital flight from the private sector was $9.4 billion in 2004 in comparison with $1.9 billion in 2003. In the first six months of 2005, $5.5 billion was exported from Russia, according to the Central Bank's preliminary data.

    Ignatyev said the data on capital outflow and inflow were based on data from the banking sector and non-financial enterprises. In 2004, net capital inflow into the banking sector was $4 billion, whereas the figure for 2003 had been $10 billion. Ignatyev said a decline in a net capital inflow into the banking sector approximately equaled the spread in 2004 and 2003 capital flight indices.

    Speaking about reasons for the decrease in capital inflow into the banking sector, Ignatyev said it was due to banks' response to a change in the nominal rate of the ruble against the dollar. In 2003, the ruble made steady gains against the dollar, which meant borrowing dollars abroad and converting them into rubles was more profitable, Ignatyev said. In 2004, he said the ruble did not grow as evenly as it had done in the previous year. Capital inflow through the banking sector decreased as a result.

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