Financial market reaction to the Russo-Georgian war
With regard to the financial market reaction to the Russo-Georgian war, Agence France-Presse reported that unidentified analysts believed that Russian stock exchange declines in August and September 2008, were attributed to "a mix of falling energy prices, global market turmoil and political issues including worries over the war with Georgia." Just on August 8, the day the war started, six billion dollars left Russia.
Harvard B-School professor Noel Maurer sharply disagrees with the view that 2008 South Ossetia war had a substantial negative impact on Russian financial markets: "Russian indices were in decline well before the war started. If anything has happened since, it is that the decline has slowed. This is not consistent with the hypothesis that the markets are punishing Russia for the war."
The Georgian financial markets also suffered negative consequences as Fitch Ratings lowered Georgia's sovereign debt ratings from BB- to B+, commenting that there are increased risks to Georgian sovereign creditworthiness. Standard and Poor's also lowered Georgia's sovereign credit rating.
While Georgia has no significant oil or gas reserves on its own, it is an important transit route that supplies the West, and journalists expressed fear that the war may damage the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline (BTC pipeline), 30% of which is owned by BP. The BTC pipeline was shut down before the conflict because of the blast in Turkey on August 6, 2008, that was threatened and then claimed by the PKK and the war created further problems for the operating company Botas International Ltd. Georgia claims Russia is targeting the pipeline. On August 8, 2008, Russian air forces devastated the port of Poti, which the Georgian government calls "a key port for the transportation of energy sources," close to the Baku-Supsa pipeline and the Supsa oil terminal. On August 12, 2008, BP, an operator of the main pipelines through Georgia, closed the BTC pipeline, the Baku-Supsa Pipeline and the South Caucasus Pipeline for the safety reasons. Gas supplies through the South Caucasus Pipeline were resumed on August 14, 2008.
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