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Central Bank Tested as Ruble Falls to Record Lows

Published: February 20, 2014 (Issue # 1798)



  • The ruble has been one of the fastest fallers amid 2014 emerging market currency declines.
    Photo: Andrei Makhonin / Vedomosti

The Russian ruble continued to slide Wednesday, reaching a historic minimum against the euro as its fall brought the central bank close to the point where it would be committed to unlimited interventions to prop up the currency.

The euro climbed to more than 49 rubles Wednesday, while the dollar rose to 35.76 rubles, its highest level against the ruble since March 2009, according to data from the Moscow Exchange.

Related: Why the Ruble Is Sinking

The value of the euro-dollar basket, the benchmark used by the central bank, reached 41.8 rubles in afternoon trading, close to the upper limit of the ruble corridor set by the regulator.

If the ruble strays outside of the corridor, the central bank has said it will conduct unlimited interventions to bring the currency back within its target range.

The ruble has been one of the fastest fallers amid 2014 emerging market currency declines. This year alone the Russian currency has lost over 6 percent of its value against the euro-dollar basket.

Related: Economist Advises Russians to Dump Ruble, Buy Hard Currency

Russian officials have denied that the authorities are deliberately allowing the ruble to weaken in order to raise export revenue and stimulate the country’s flagging economy.

Unlike central banks in other emerging markets, the Russian regulator has not raised rates in an attempt to stem the ruble’s slide.

In an apparent attempt to balance the dual challenges of stubbornly high inflation and stagnant economic growth, the central bank kept interest rates on hold following its policy meeting last week.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 22


Russian Premier League-leaders Zenit St. Petersburg return from the international break to take on Kuban Krasnodar at Petrovsky Stadium this evening at 7 p.m. Tickets for the game can still be purchased on the club’s website, at the Petrovsky Stadium box office or in any of the club’s merchandise stores.



Sunday, Nov. 23


Get in the holiday spirit at today’s Winter Bazzar at the Astoria Hotel. Featuring gifts from around the world such as French eclairs, Dutch cheeses and Indian jewelry, the annual event organized by the International Women’s Club will feature 18 international stands and raise money for charity through the sales of a diversity of products that further illustrate the city’s international connections.



Monday, Nov. 24


Dr. Axel Schulte, Department Head at Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics in Dortmund, Germany, is the featured speaker at the SPIBA Industrial Committee lecture on “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Digitalization of the Supply Chain.” The event begins at 4 p.m. at the Graduate School of Management at 3 Volkohvsky Pereulok and registration is required by Nov. 21 either by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.



Tuesday, Nov. 25


Tag along with AmCham during their “Industrial St. Petersburg” Tour program today. This incarnation of the ongoing series will visit Philip Morris Izhora and include an Environmental Health and Safety Committee meeting.


Find out how to expand your business east during the “Business With China” forum beginning today and concluding tomorrow at the Lenexpo convention center. The largest Russian forum dedicated to business with the Asian giant, topics that will be discussed include logistics, customs clearance, trade financing and many more.



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