Tuesday, May 5, 2015

5/5/15: Good Bonds, Bad Rules & Russian Deficits

Neat chart via @sobberLook showing Russian 2-year bonds yields out through today:

The blowout is over, but at 10.9% still ahead of anything 'normal' and remains pressured. To me, real test will be around 9.7% levels and then again around 9%.

Meanwhile, on a supportive side of things, Russia is about to decouple its budgetary balance estimates from the 3-year (back) average oil price rule, by switching to RUB denominated oil price benchmark. Which will improve the deficit calculations by bringing some reality to assumptions underlying the budget.

As the result of the switch, Budget for 2015 will see a correction in built-in oil price of RUB2,915, Budget 2106 - of RUB1,938 and Budget 2017 of RUB 760. Thereafter, the effect should be weaker, with Budget 2018 estimated impact is for price decline of RUB60. Current rule implies that Budget 2016 was to be estimated using oil price of USD89 per barrel, against the Economy Ministry forecast of USD60.  In 2015, Budget is computed using base line price of USD94 against the economic forecast (for the Budget) of USD55. Higher budgeted oil price implies higher spending, while revising the benchmark price down as per new proposed rule implies lower spending and, thus, lower deficits. So, in return, budget cuts and balancing of the budget, will be spread over longer horizon and will allow to more conservatively use Russian foreign exchange reserves.

More on this here: http://www.vedomosti.ru/newspaper/articles/2015/05/05/minfin-pridumal-kak-viiti-iz-lovushki-byudzhetnogo-pravila.

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