How will collapse of Russian ruble affect Belarus?


The official rate published at the Central Bank of Russia website was not updated after 15 December, when a dollar was worth 58.34 Russian rubles. For some reason the new rate is not there. At the same time, on the Moscow stock exchange one dollar is worth more than 71 rubles (it fell to 81 rubles while the article was being written).

The 15 December bidding closed at the rate of 64.5 rubles per dollar. At night, the Central Bank of Russia decided to raise its key interest rate to 17.00% and expected a roll back. It did happen in the morning. When the market opened, the dollar was worth 58 rubles.

But by lunchtime situation began to change, and all came back. Later, the 65 rubles to the dollar record of the previous day was broken, says financial analyst and official partner of Alpari in Minsk Vadzim Iosub.

Why would CBR not change the official exchange rate?

"Perhaps they are confused, because they expected an ooposite reaction of the market and did not quite understand how to influence the official exchange rate in these circumstances," says Iosub.

Russian banks, in turn, are selling the currency with a large difference between the buying and selling rates (70 and 80 rubles respectively).

Iosub: "This is a "space" around the current exchange rate. It is clear that the official rate set yesterday has nothing to do with it. Secondly, when there are such huge fluctuations, today the difference was about 13 rubles, which is almost 20%, everybody wants to be sure and move the spread. Now the purchase rate is higher than the selling rate was in the morning. Some speculators could make money on it: buy dollars in the morning and sell them now for a profit."

How can it affect the situation in Belarus? It is known that the fall of the Russian ruble makes our products uncompetitive in the Russian market, says Vadzim Iosub.

Iosub: "I believe that exports, except food, will dramatically decrease. Inflow of foreign currency from exports will reduce, taxes on exports will also reduce. Normally, the reaction should be to change the rate formation mode. But this issue is not economic but political. Thus it is not clear whether such decision will be taken."

When this article was being prepared, the Central Bank published a new official exchange rate for 17 December - 61.15 rubles per dollar. The rate on the stock exchange has reached 81 rubles. Exchange offices are selling and buying dollars at 75 and 90 rubles respectively.

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