According to preliminary data, Russian banks increased their investments in shares by 56.7 percent last year to 51.344bn rubles ($1.63bn) as of January 1, 2003, the Central Bank reported. Some 876m rubles ($27.8m) were invested in the securities of domestic credit organizations as of January 1, 2003, which was 11.4 percent lower than on January 1, 2002. Investments in shares of non-residents increased by 8.3 percent to 104m rubles ($3.3m).
The participation of banks in their branches was 17.4bn rubles ($552m) as of January 1, 2003.
A school student is believed to be the person who set fire to the wooden church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (built in the 18th century)