MOSCOW, January 21. /TASS/. The Central Bank of Russia has not announced its intention to cut the key rate in the first quarter of 2015, the regulator’s press office said on Wednesday.
“The Bank of Russia rejects the reports that it announced its intention at the National Financial Board to cut the key rate in the first quarter,” the press office said.
Some media reports claimed on Wednesday that Central Bank officials had announced at a National Financial Board meeting in late December that the regulator might cut the key rate by 2-3 percentage points from the current 17% in the first quarter of 2015.
The Russian Central Bank hiked the key rate to 17% from 10.5% on December 16 to stem the ruble’s slump amid falling world oil prices, western sanctions, a faltering economy and large capital flight.
This measure helped the ruble strengthen from its record lows of 80 rubles to the dollar and 100 rubles to the euro.
Russian presidential aide and former Economic Development Minister Andrey Belousov said on January 15 that interest rates should be lowered as soon as the domestic financial market stabilized because it was impossible to do business in Russia at such a high rate.