The situation on the currency market in January 2003, unusually stable for the beginning of a year, lead to preserving high demand for state bonds, the department for external and public relations of the Russian Central Bank reported. Due to the fact that there was no considerable devaluation of the ruble this January, speculative operations on the currency market were almost impossible. Market makers intensified purchases of medium-term state and corporate securities.
In January 2003, the demand for federal treasury bills (GKO) and federal loan bonds (OFZ) was less dependent on the situation in the corporate segment of the market. At the auctions for sale of additional OFZ issues, held during a liquidity deficit and simultaneously with the floating of Moscow bonds worth RUR4bn (about $126.56m), the Russian Finance Ministry places over 60 percent of the announced volume of the issue actually without a premium for market yield. At the same time, market makers mainly consider short-term GKO-OFZ as a means for managing available liquidity. Unlike over the previous months, in January 2003 the environment on the market of interbank credits had in fact no influence on GKO-OFZ yields.
The reason for the absence of a direct link between interbank credit rates and state securities was mainly active operations of the Central Bank that allowed market participants to refinance. Now, when a liquidity deficit emerges, investors will not have to sell state securities for attracting resources. The alternative source is one-day credits from the Central Bank against state bonds, and swap operations with foreign currency.
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