Yippee-ki-yay: Russian government spends £1.6bn bailing out Bruce Willis' favourite bank

Emma Haslett
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Bruce Willis stars in Trust Bank's ad campaigns (Source: Trust Bank)

The Russian government says it will spend $2.5bn (£1.6bn) bailing out one of its largest lenders, five times what it originally expected to spend, after the plummeting rouble caused its foreign-denominated debts to shoot up.

The bank said on Friday it is planning to inject $2bn in direct aid into Trust Bank, with another $550m in the form of a six-year loan provided to an investor bank that will take control of the lender.

Trust Bank, which is famously advertised by Bruce Willis, is the first major lender to be bailed out by the Russian government.

Although Trust Bank's bailout will be the second-largest ever in Russia, finance minister Anton Siluanov has said it is likely it will need to inject $2bn into VTB, the country's second-largest lender by asset value, and $1.4bn into Gazprombank.

He added that the measures are likely to push Russia's budget into a deficit of $10bn, around 0.7 per cent of GDP.

This morning, the rouble fell 1.96 per cent to 0.0185 against the dollar, on top of its 2.5 per cent loss yesterday.

The falls bring an end to a five-day rally caused by government measures to shore up the currency, including a sharp increase in interest rates and an order to state-owned exporters to sell dollar revenues.

The country has also rapidly spent its foregin currency reserves: data released by its central bank yesterday suggested its reserves had fallen nearly $16bn to $398.9bn.

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