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MOSCOW, November 10. /TASS/. The Russian Central Bank’s decision to abandon the ruble trading band is a delayed move, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Monday.
The Central Bank of Russia has abandoned since November 10 the ruble’s trading corridor limits and its regular interventions on the domestic foreign currency market, according to the regulator’s new exchange rate policy parameters released on Monday. The Russian Central Bank has therefore switched to a freely floating ruble two months ahead of the scheduled time.
“It seems to me this is a somewhat delayed decision because it was not necessary to maintain the currency corridor, selling foreign exchange and gold reserves, when pressure on the ruble increased,” Siluanov said.
Former Central Bank chief Sergey Dubinin disagrees, saying thedecision to abandon the ruble trading corridor is timely.
“Many experts, including me, said some time ago that it would be necessary to abandon the trading corridor and announce a free float. This move sharply raises risks for speculators and it was needed right now,” the ex-chief banker said.
Dubinin who headed Russia’s Central Bank in 1995-1998 said the regulator’s decision had strengthened the ruble. “This is what the (regulator’s) decision was intended for,” he said.
The regulator’s decision to temporarily limit the provision of ruble liquidity to banks will cool off demand on the foreign currency market, which is the continuation of the same approach towards stabilizing the ruble exchange rate, Dubinin said.
“Now that various companies and banks have purchased lots of US dollars, they’ll further have to spend in rubles and they’ll start to offer foreign currency on the market. This should also help stabilize the exchange rate and this is what happening now,” he added.
The ruble’s fall lately was inevitable, Dubinin said. “We have such fundamental factors as the poor state of the balance of payments, large capital outflow and the overvalued ruble in previous years amid quite high inflation. As a result, we came to face the situation when the ruble’s fall was inevitable. The question was how acute the processes would be, and they took the form of a panic,” Dubinin said.