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    Russia will not use funds to support stock market

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    Russia's Finance Ministry does not deem it possible now to use the Reserve Fund or the National Prosperity Fund to support the stock market, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said at a meeting Thursday.

    SOCHI, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Finance Ministry does not deem it possible now to use the Reserve Fund or the National Prosperity Fund to support the stock market, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said at a meeting Thursday.

    "The Russian Finance Ministry does not consider it possible at this time to use the Reserve Fund or the National Prosperity Fund to these ends," Putin said.

    Speaking at a meeting with foreign businessmen in the southern Russian resort of Sochi, he said Russia would not close its market for foreign business.

    "Our policy remains unchanged," he said. "There will be no 'closing of the market,' no mobilization model of economic development."

    He added that Russia would not take any "politically motivated decisions in economic relations."

    Russia's main financial regulator announced Thursday that it would allow the country's two main stock exchanges to resume equity trading Friday.

    The Federal Financial Markets Service halted trading on the RTS and MICEX on Wednesday after share prices plummeted to their lowest levels in nearly three years amid worsening global financial troubles.

    In a move to shore up market liquidity, the Russian government said Wednesday it would lend up to 1.12 trillion ($44 billion) to state-controlled Sberbank, VTB and Gazprombank, the main market-making banks, which would subsequently offer loans to small and medium-sized banks.

    The Finance Ministry divided the former Stabilization Fund into the Reserve Fund, designed to cushion the federal budget in the event of an oil price plunge, and the National Prosperity Fund, designed to help Russia carry out pension reforms, on February 1 this year.

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