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Russian bank CEO says central bank's key rate overpriced

December 29, 2014, 17:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW

VTB 24’s CEO Mikhail Zadornov said Russia’s central bank may decrease the key rate in early 2015

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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Japaridze

MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. Russia’s central bank may decrease the key rate, now standing at 17%, sometime in January-March 2015 depending on inflation figures, VTB 24’s CEO Mikhail Zadornov said Monday in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV channel.

“According to our estimates, the (key) rate will be decreased in the first quarter of 2015 as the rate is much higher than the expected inflation rate. I think that inflation will not exceed 12% in the first quarter of next year. The rate of 17% is a bit overpriced and it was mainly introduced as a one-time extreme level,” he said.

The Russian Central Bank’s board of directors decided overnight into December 16 to raise the key rate by 6.5 percentage points — from 10.5 to 17% annual interest. The bank’s decision was a response to a sharp ruble rate fall in the first half of December, the biggest in the past 15 years.

The last raise of the Russian Central Bank’s key rate became the sixth one since the year start. On March 3, the bank raised it from 5.5 to 7%, on April 25, to 7.5%, on July 25, to 8%, on October 31, to 9.5% and on December 11 to 10.5%.

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