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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

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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