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DAVOS, January 21. /TASS/. The Russian national currency is unlikely to return to 60 rubles per dollar exchange rate, President and Chairman of VTB Group Andrey Kostin said on Thursday.
"In general the ruble is expected to be fairly weak on the back of the fast strengthening dollar in particular. I don’t expect the ruble to substantially strengthen though some upward correction is probable amid oil price rebound, though it will never return to the level of 60 rubles [per dollar — TASS]," Kostin said.
VTB Group CEO does not consider new lows of the ruble’s exchange rate to be a shock.
"I think it’s no longer a shock as to certain extent both the markets and the population admit this possibility [of the current exchange rate of the ruble — TASS] amid plunging oil prices," he said on Thursday, adding that "we don’t see any extraordinary reaction of our clients yet."
Russia’s second-biggest lender VTB bases its negative scenario for 2016 on $30 oil price, President and Chairman of VTB Group Andrey Kostin said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday.
"We’ve tested the average level of 2016 at $30," Kostin said when answering the respective question.
Andrey Kostin sees no big challenges for large Russian banks amid the current economic environment.
"So far I don’t see any big challenges in general for the leading players in the banking sector from the viewpoint of capital and liquidity. We don’t forecast growth of NPL [non-performing loans — TASS] level and clients are meeting payments," VTB CEO said.
However, he admitted that amid the current environment the country’s Central Bank may ease the regulatory framework for the banking sector.
"But I don’t think the issue is about supporting capital or liquidity in the sector," he said.
According to Kostin, Russian banks may report growth this year.
"The banking sector will be adding 5-10%. We think we’ll manage to keep positive dynamics of lending both within VTB and within the sector as a whole, though not of the scale we would like to see," he said.
In his words, Russia’s Central Bank is likely to refrain from sharp changes of its key interest rate.
"I think in general the Central Bank is sticking to the policy of reducing the rate throughout 2016 though probably within the nearest future, amid this kind of volatility it will refrain from any decreasing moves. Though inflation dynamics has been decent since the start of the year and there is still potential for cutting the rate within next months in place," Kostin said.