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Ruble Continues Fall, Lowest Level Since 2009

Published: January 28, 2014 (Issue # 1794)



  • A ruble exchange office sign displaying dollar and euro rates on Monday.
    Photo: Igor Tabakov / SPT

The ruble continued its fall in Monday morning trading, reaching a historic low of 47.5 rubles to the euro.

The currency is now at its lowest level against the dollar since March 2009, when it plummeted on fears of a deepening recession in the country.

On Friday, the country’s central bank widened the trading corridor against the euro-dollar basket amid a slide in the ruble of over 3.5 percent since the beginning of the year. The new limit was surpassed Monday morning.

Russia measures the ruble’s performance against a weighted basket of 55 percent dollars and 45 percent euros.

You may also be interested in: Economist Advises Russians to Dump Ruble, Buy Hard Currency

The central bank, which controls the value of the ruble through interventions on the currency market, has repeatedly widened the target trading band for the ruble in recent months.

A weaker ruble means larger profits for Russian exporters and a windfall for the state budget, which is dependent on revenue from commodity exports.

Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Monday that a natural weakening of the ruble could boost the economy by increasing the competitiveness of Russian businesses, but added that he was opposed to an artificial depreciation.

You may also be interested in: Why the Ruble Is Sinking

Experts have suggested that the bank may be forced to modify its methods of maintaining the corridor, but doing so now might prompt a further fall in the currency.

The central bank is planning to move toward a free floating ruble by the end of this year.

The central bank’s intervention in trading to prop up the ruble has more than doubled in the last week to about $400 million per day.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Monday, Jan. 26


Feeling stressed by the crisis? The Northwest Coach University at 3 Ulitsa Vostsstanaya is hosting a master class by lifecoach Tatiana Almazova. She will shed light on the coaching process, the usefulness of coaching during times of economic downturn and how coaching can improve your career and business prospects. The event starts at 7 p.m. and admission is free. Pre-register by calling 424 3700.



Discover the State Hermitage Museum's collection of English painting at a lecture by art historian Yelizaveta Renne at the Prince Galitzine Library, 46 Nab. Reki Fontanki. The event starts at 6 p.m. and the lecture will be followed by a concert of arias, songs and duets by English composer Henry Purcell. The event is free of charge.



Tuesday, Jan. 27


Celebrate the 71st anniversary of the end of the Siege of Leningrad on Palace Square with a free concert at 7 p.m. Listen to WWII-era songs and the poetry of Olga Bergholz while you peruse outdoor exhibitions dedicated to life during wartime. The event is capped off by a fireworks display at 9 p.m.



Stop by the Lexica School of Foreign Languages at 73 Ligovsky Prospekt from now until Friday for a free English lesson. The classes start at 7 p.m. and cover all levels, from Beginner to Advanced. Registration by telephone on 7641692 and a desire to improve your skills are the only prerequisites.



Wednesday, Jan. 28



Feel like becoming a publishing mogul? Stop by the Freedom anti-cafe at 7 Ulitsa Kazanskaya today at 8 p.m. where Simferopol, Crimea-based founder and chief editor of the Holst online magazine will talk about creating an internet magaine, including what stories to cover, how find an audience and build a team, where to find inspiration and how to stand out from the crowd. Admission is the normal price of the anti-café — 2 rubles per minute, which includes tea and snacks.



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