Tuesday, November 11, 2014

11/11/2014: Another Wild Ride for Rollercoaster Ruble


On the first day of its quasi-somewhat-sort-of-free float, Ruble is, as predicted (http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2014/11/7112014-russian-ruble-rough-days-ahead.html) is showing no trend other than the one in rising volatility.


Two charts: one day and five days:

Both: MarketWatch 

It has been a wild ride. The shorts are having their lunch:

 Source: @Schuldensuehner 

Remember, CBR abandoned regular interventions strategy and opted for free float of the Ruble. But the float is not quite free, as CBR said it will instead intervene in limiting supply of foreign currency to trading and debt cover only, removing the so-called speculative positions of Russian banks and corporates.

This will be tough to strategise, since much of the so-called 'capital outflow' (Western terminology) or 'speculative demand' (Russian terminology) is related to debt maturity redemptions. These are hitting Russian economy hard in the wake of virtual shut-down of Western debt markets for all Russian companies and banks (including those not covered by sanctions):

Source: Reuters

Still, something will have to be done. Russia is losing foreign exchange reserves fast:


The latest statistics from the CBR covering October show that, inclusive of gold holdings, the value of Russian foreign exchange reserves fell to USD416.23 billion at the end of October, down USD94.76 billion year on year (-18.5%) and down USD63.93 billion (-13.3%) since the first round of sanctions was introduced. Actual foreign exchange reserves (currency holdings) are down USD96.02 billion year on year to USD370.92 billion.

The only surprising bit - given the rate of reserves depletion - is that Russia still did not introduce direct capital controls, although CBR decision this week is looking increasingly like a veiled control regime.

Note: more detailed comments on the Ruble are forthcoming in Euromoney report and Expresso, so stay tuned for links.


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