Ruble’s ‘perfect storm’ over – finance minister
The weak period of the ruble is over; there is now a strengthening trend in the national currency Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said.
"The ruble has found a balance and begins to strengthen," Siluanov said at a Federation Council meeting Thursday.
The ruble strengthened in Thursday trading, reaching 52 against the dollar, the highest since December 2. The euro exchange rate improved by 1.77 rubles compared to the previous close, at 63.75 rubles.
“Currency is the first to feel the pressure. It finds its new ceilings, but then, realizing that its real value is completely different, it finds its balance state,” he said, adding that, based on current oil prices, the ruble is still undervalued.
Siluanov said there’s no reason for keeping high interest rates in the economy for a long time.
The Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Russia will jointly develop proposals to cut lending rates for important industries and companies by the end of the year, he said.
According to Siluanov, inflation will fluctuate at year-end at around 11.5 percent. As of December 24, it was 10.4 percent.
After the ruble’s drastic fall on December 15, the Central Bank raised its key interest rate from 10.5 to 17 percent. December 16 was dubbed ‘Black Tuesday’ when the euro touched 100 rubles and the dollar 80 rubles during the Moscow Exchange trading session.