Wednesday, December 17, 2014

17/12/2014: Russia: Running Out of Euros and Ikea Kitchens?

While Russians are converting dollars into rubles to buy Ikea furniture to store cabbage, shortages of which are imminent... or maybe converting Ikea kitchens into dollars to buy spare parts for Ladas door handles... there's a panic... allegedly.

In one city, some banks have run out of dollar kitchens and euro handles... even at the rate of 110 RUB/1EUR, though the main banks remained fully stocked with hard currency:

Funny enough, the reporter spotted a queue for currency only in one branch of one bank, where EUR was selling for 92 Rubles instead of 110... There is a rich behavioural economics paper sitting somewhere between the Russian retail currency exchanges margins...

Another behavioural adjustment was made today - by the Central Bank of Russia which suspended mark-to-market valuations of its own portfolio: The CBR also suspended mark-to-market valuations of credit institutions and banks. To offset asset base volatility, or in plain terms, to reduce impact of volatile exchange rates on assets and liabilities valuations.

And more households' behavioural 'antics': despite rapid rise in interest rates, demand for credit has sky-rocketed: Households seem to be stocking up on short term credit while interest rates are still creeping up.

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