Source Pravda.Ru

Ruble avoids decline early this year

For the first time in the past several years, there was no considerable decline in the ruble rate at the beginning of the year, the department of external and public relations of the Russian Central Bank reported. In January 2003, the dollar rate against advanced 0.2 percent on ruble, fluctuating within RUR0.10.

The Central Bank pointed out that this January, the situation on the domestic currency market was created amid a considerable volume of foreign currency from export revenues, which was comparable to the maximum amount in 2002. The increase in foreign currency revenues was due to the favorable environment on the hydrocarbon market, and due to revenues from non-raw-material goods, including those under long-term contracts.

In this situation, the Russian ruble needed the Central Bank's support only at the beginning of the month when the dollar rate went up to RUR31.88 on January 8, 2003, against the background of a drop in export revenues, the implementation of the deferred demand and a release of ruble resources. Later, after the normal functioning of markets had been restored and a deficit of ruble liquidity had emerged, the exchange rate sagged to 31.83 RUR/USD on January 10, 2003. In the second half of the month, the Central Bank was aggressively buying foreign currency for supporting the stable exchange rate. The rate was fluctuating between 31.80 RUR/USD and 31.83 RUR/USD.

Like in December 2002, the Central Bank did not buy foreign currency "directly" within compulsory sales of export revenues in January 2003. It made purchase deals in the exchange and over-the-counter segments of the domestic currency market. At the same time, the major amount of foreign currency was bought at the UTS.