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Russian ruble likely to strengthen after ‘hitting bottom’ — official

October 01, 2014, 11:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The weakening ruble over the past few months has allowed adapting the economy towards a decrease in oil prices and closing foreign capital markets, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseyev says
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© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Dzhavakhadze

MOSCOW, October 1. /TASS/. Russia’s ruble, which has fallen to a historic low against both the dollar and the euro, is likely to grow stronger in the future, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseyev said on Wednesday.

“My personal expectations are that the exchange value (of ruble) has hit the bottom and is likely to strengthen,” Moiseyev said in an interview with RBC-TV, adding that this is not the official forecast of the ministry.

The weakening ruble over the past few months, amid the Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, has allowed adapting the economy towards a decrease in oil prices and closing foreign capital markets, the official said. “The free exchange-rate regime is an important factor of stabilizing the economy in conditions of volatile oil prices and problems linked to attracting foreign financing,” Moiseyev said.

“We saw how the ruble reacted to the closing of foreign capital markets and falling oil prices. The reaction has allowed balancing the economy and ensuring the currency inflow on the current account,” he added. The official stressed that this is “the most important factor” for stabilizing the economy, including in regard to the budget, for which the plunging oil prices are compensated by the falling ruble and vice versa, Moiseyev said.

The Russian ruble gained 29 kopecks against the euro to 49.74 and lost 5 kopecks against the US dollar on Tuesday afternoon on expectations that the European Central Bank (ECB) will soften its monetary policy, analysts said.

VTB24 senior analyst Stanislav Kleshchyov said the oil prices stabilized around $97 per barrel in the last weeks, supporting the ruble.

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