MOSCOW, May 22. /TASS/. The exchange rate of the Russian national currency versus the dollar is stronger than its fundamental value though it may return to it in the medium term, the IMF's mission chief to Russia, Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, told TASS.
"When we look at the ruble what we are thinking (about) is stable prices in the economy. And stable prices in the economy normally deliver a fairly competitive exchange rate. A competitive exchange rate is from a medium term perspective something that is close to equilibrium, and in this sense at the moment the ruble versus the dollar is stronger than it would be warranted by fundamentals," he said.
However, he added, there are quite a number of factors affecting the ruble’s exchange rate, mainly the price of oil. "The more important thing would be for the ruble to eventually come back to its (fundamental value in the - TASS) medium term," the chief of the mission said.
The Russian currency has strengthened versus the dollar by 8.3% since the beginning of this year, and by 23% since the beginning of 2016. In end-March, Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that the ruble is over-strengthened by around 10-12% versus its fundamental value. The Economic Development Ministry said it expects a serious weakening of the ruble to 63-64 rubles per dollar. In its base case scenario of the macroeconomic outlook until 2020, the Ministry expects the dollar’s exchange rate to amount to 68 rubles in end-2017, and 70.7 rubles in end-2018. In the targeted (positive) scenario of the macroeconomic outlook, the dollar’s exchange rate is expected at 68 rubles in end-2017, and 70.3 rubles in end-2018.