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No risk of ‘eating away’ Russia’s currency and gold reserves - Central Bank governor

February 02, 2015, 1:44 UTC+3
Russia’s Central Bank sees no objective reasons for decline in the rouble exchange rate but sees prerequisites for the rouble strengthening instead, Elvira Nabiullina said
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© Sergey Konkov/TASS

MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. Russia’s Central Bank sees no major risk in ‘eating away’ its international reserves, Central Bank governor Elvira Nabiullina said on Sunday.

"There is no such a risk, since we have switched to a floating rouble exchange rate. It was done not to spend too much of the currency and gold reserves to support the rouble, among other reasons," she told the Sunday Time programme on Russia’s television Channel One.

She said that the rouble would decline in any case, even if the regulators had not switched to the floating exchange rate but in this case attempts to keep it from falling would cost a larger share of reserves. "It is vitally important for the country to have a cushion of currency and gold reserves," Nabiullina said. "We have enough of that - slightly less than 400 billion U.S. dollars. There are various international standards of sufficiency of the currency and gold reserves to import volumes, to short-term debts. We are exceeding all such standards."

The Central Bank, in her words, sees no necessity to spend these reserves in 2014 and 2016, like it was done in 2014. "In this sense, the previous year was a special one. The dramatic drop in oil prices prompted us spend considerable sums," she said.

In 2014, Russia’s currency and gold reserves shrank by 124 billion U.S. dollars.

Central Bank sees no reason for decline in rouble exchange rate

Russia’s Central Bank sees no objective reasons for decline in the rouble exchange rate but sees prerequisites for the rouble strengthening instead, Central Bank governor Elvira Nabiullina said on Sunday.

"We observe no big factors that might send the rouble down. The recent fall in oil prices was the third biggest fall in the past 40 years. Of course, it had some impact on the rouble exchange rate," she said, adding that another factor impacting the rouble exchange rate was corporate sector debt disbursements.

"We believe that now there are more prerequisites for the rouble strengthening than for its weakening," she said, adding that the Central Bank had forecasted a slight decline in the rouble after the Bank’s decision of January 30 to lower the key interest rate by two percent to 15%

The real rouble exchange rate, according to the Central Bank’s preliminary estimated, dropped by 27.2% in 2014, including by 13,5% in December.

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