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The Central Bank of Russia doubles interest rates to 20% in the face of the collapse of the ruble

2022-02-28T09:00:16.485Z

The Russian currency plummets more than 30%. The European parks start the session with falls of more than 2%. Oil shoots up about 5% due to the worsening of the war in Ukraine



The war that Russia has waged against Ukraine is destabilizing the international financial markets in general and the Russian financial system in particular.

The ruble has collapsed this Monday more than 30% against the dollar and the euro in the Forex market after the announcement of sanctions by the European Union and the United States.

The decision to exclude some Russian banks from the Swift international interbank communications system and the freezing of transactions with the Central Bank of Russia (BCR) has hit the financial heart of Moscow.

To try to contain the bleeding, the Russian Central Bank has doubled interest rates to 20% and has imposed limits to prevent capital flight.

The body ordered the opening of stock markets later and suspended the sale of securities on behalf of non-residents "to ensure the protection of the rights and legitimate interests of investors in financial markets."

Thus, as soon as operations began, after 10:00 in the morning, the Russian currency was devalued from 93 to 100 rubles per euro, and from 83 to 90 rubles per dollar.

The Central Bank has raised interest rates from 9.5% to 20% “to ensure that the increase in deposit rates offsets the risks of depreciation and inflation.

This will contain the stability of finances and prices, and will protect citizens' savings from devaluation," the agency explained in a statement.

Shortly after 09:00 local time (06:00 GMT) the ruble lost 28.34% against the greenback, whose exchange rate stood at 107.48 dollars per ruble.

The Russian currency fell by 27.02%, to 119.8 euros per ruble.

In the case of the dollar, this is a record drop since at least 1993 and in the case of the euro it is the biggest drop since at least 1994. The depreciation of the Russian currency began last Thursday in the face of the military offensive launched last Thursday by Russia in Ukraine.

That day the Moscow Stock Exchange plummeted more than 33%.

The international financial markets do not remain oblivious to the hurricane that is being experienced in Eastern Europe.

Most European markets have started the session with heavy losses in another black Monday for investors.

The Ibex 35, the main indicator of the Spanish stock market, fell 2.13%.

The main trading floors have also woken up with losses close to 2%.

The German Dax falls 1.88%;

the French CAC, 2.12% and the Euro Stoxx 50 lost 2.3%.

The economic newspaper RBK reports today that the BCR decided to also prohibit brokers from selling securities of foreign companies or individuals.

The Bank of Russia has also taken measures to ensure the financial stability of the sanctioned banks, such as the release of accumulated capital reserves worth 733 billion rubles (6,245 million euros or 6,963 million dollars) for consumer loans and mortgages.

In addition, as of today it resumes the purchase of gold in the national market, as announced on Sunday.

The Central Bank has used more countermeasures against this avalanche.

Among others, it has intervened in the markets by selling foreign currency for more than 84,000 million rubles and has allowed Russian entities to use without restrictions the capital endowments that had to be provided when granting consumer loans and unsecured mortgages.

According to Interfax, these "cushions" against defaults currently amounted to about 733,000 million rubles, about 6,000 million euros.

The blow came over the weekend on different fronts.

The European Union and the United States agreed to disconnect most Russian banks from the Swift payment system, which complicates transfers abroad;

they froze a large part of the 570,000 million euros that the Russian central bank had saved in gold and foreign currency reserves to face contingencies;

and vetoed the operations of large Russian companies in Western markets, among other measures.

As a result, investors have stampeded out of Russia.

The banks closed on Sunday for a holiday, but the telematic operations already warned of the coup.

Some entities such as Sberbank were cured in health and changed euros to more than 150 rubles in their applications and ATMs.

The announcement of the sanctions led credit rating agencies to place the quality of Russian debt at the junk bond level.

Standard & Poor's lowered Russia's rating on Friday from -BBB to -BB, and this means that Russia will have to pay a higher risk premium for financing abroad.

In any case, this is the least of the Kremlin's worries.

Americans have been barred from buying new Russian dollar bonds since the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and Russia's public debt is just around 18% of its gross domestic product, according to Statista data.


Source: elparis

All business articles on 2022-02-28

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