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Russian chief banker hopes for lower interest rates and inflation

April 22, 2013, 21:13 UTC+3
Ignatyev recalled that the Bank had made the decision in early April to lower some rates, not all, for loans to commercial banks
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SOCHI, April 22 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian Central Bank will continue to lower its interest rates, Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev said at an economic meeting held by President Vladimir Putin on Monday, April 22.

“I think the tendency towards lower Central Bank interest rates will continue,” he said.

Ignatyev recalled that the Bank had made the decision in early April to lower some rates, not all, for loans to commercial banks.

He stressed that inflation would be critical for lowering interest rates. “Inflation now is higher than the benchmark we have set for ourselves,” he said.

Ignatyev promised to do his best to reduce inflation to about 6 percent. “As for the inflation forecast, I have a strong inner feeling that inflation will go down,” he said.

Interest rates for loans issued by commercial banks should be no higher than 7.5-8 percent, Minister of Economic Development Andrei Belousov said earlier

He said this should be “the final rate for the end user.”

“First of all, there is no rise in inflation. Second, I think we should be talking not so much about the refinancing rate as about using all means to reduce risks for the banking system,” the minister said.

“We believe that the interest rate in the market should be around 7.5-8 percent,” he added.

Belousov noted that the growth of interest rates in the second half of last year “slowed down investment activities.”

“This is the level that would be normal for maintaining investment activities - 7.5-8 percent, not 10-11 percent as now,” he said.

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