Ruble named world’s best-performing currency
The Russian ruble has eclipsed 31 major currencies in growth since the start of 2022, becoming the globe’s best-performing currency, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
According to the publication, the ruble has strengthened against the US dollar by more than 11% since the beginning of the year. On the international currency market, the ruble exchange rate has shown even greater growth of about 12% so far.
During trading on the Moscow Exchange on May 12, the exchange rate dropped to 63 rubles against the US dollar – its strongest since February 2020, and 65 rubles against the euro – the strongest in nearly five years.
The Russian currency overtook the Brazilian real in terms of dynamics, which also showed significant growth of almost 9%. Third position in the best-performing currency ranking is occupied by the Mexican peso with a growth of 1% against the greenback.
The ruble dropped to historic lows against both the dollar and the euro in March after the US and its allies imposed severe economic sanctions on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.
However, the Russian currency began to strengthen dramatically after the government introduced a series of support measures and has been on the rise since then. In addition to the introduction of temporary capital controls, the Russian Ministry of Finance has obliged Russian exporters to sell 80% of their foreign exchange earnings. The introduction of a ruble-based mechanism for gas export payments also helped stabilize the ruble, increasing the supply of the currency on the market and boosting the ruble demand.
Bloomberg points out, however, that some Western analysts say the ruble’s upturn is artificial. It cites “some strategists” who claim “the rally isn’t credible as many currency-trading shops have stopped dealing in the ruble on the grounds that its value seen on monitors is not the price it can be traded at in the real world.”
Other countries, most notably, Turkey and Argentina, have also recently introduced capital controls, but failed to achieve the same results as Russia, Bloomberg notes. Since the beginning of 2022, the Turkish lira has depreciated by 13% against the dollar, while the Argentine peso is down by 12.3%.
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