Posted 7 августа 2023,, 08:24
Published 7 августа 2023,, 08:24
Modified 7 августа 2023,, 15:25
Updated 7 августа 2023,, 15:25
From August 7, as previously announced by the finance unit of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Finance plans to resume operations to purchase foreign currency in accordance with the budget rule. The Ministry of Finance will do this for the first time since January 2022. The estimated volume of purchased currency for the month (from August 7 to September 6) will reach 40.5 billion rubles, that is, the agency will buy about 1.8 billion rubles daily.
Economist Nikolay Kulbaka notes that the actions of the authorities will have an impact on currency quotes.
«It seems that gold and foreign exchange reserves are more important for the country's leadership than the dollar exchange rate. This, of course, will have a negative impact on the ruble, because the demand for the currency is increasing. The devaluation of the ruble continues, respectively, inflation accelerates. The problem is very simple: devaluation is beneficial to the state because it allows filling the budget and fulfilling obligations to citizens — in nominal terms. So yes, the state solves its problems at the expense of citizens. The fact is that, in fact, the financial authorities of Russia are trying to solve a problem whose solution does not lie in the economic plane. They are saving, or rather, trying to save the Russian budget, the Russian economy, but in those conditions when it is very difficult to save it, because the state is constantly coming up with some new problems for the Russian economy, » Nikolai Kulbaka noted for Novye Izvestia.
Investment banker, HSE Professor Evgeny Kogan, who assesses the situation on the foreign exchange market almost daily on his social networks, reminds that the fact that oil is growing, the ruble is strengthening is no longer an axiom.
«Who is to blame? The Ministry of Finance refers to the trade balance, the inflow and outflow of currency into the country, the holiday season. Others shift responsibility to geopolitics and the actions (or just inaction) of the Central Bank. Or maybe one of the reasons lies precisely in the structure of foreign exchange earnings? Or is it that we now have to „digest“ huge over-planned budget expenditures? Or in the outflow of capital, the main reason for which is precisely geopolitical risks and a high level of uncertainty. Then the picture will be complete. It is clear that each decrease by a ruble against the US dollar means 100-120 billion rubles of additional revenue for the budget, » says Kogan.
The officially announced reasons for the weakening of the ruble are clear: both Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina explained the «collapse» of the Russian currency in mid-2023 by the weakening of the trade balance (the inflow of currency into the country decreased, demand for it, on the contrary, increased). And in June, the balance of payments for the first time turned out to be negative for Russia — minus $ 1.4 billion.
«Another important reason for the ruble's weakness is that our authorities have allowed Russian companies to leave foreign currency earnings on their foreign accounts. If our exporting companies may not return the proceeds to the local market at all, the level of currency receipt will be sufficiently even to close the need for tax payments. This factor also plays in favor of the ruble's weakness in the medium term, » explained Finama analyst Alexander Potavin.
At the same time, Russian Urals export crude oil rose in price, but this did not help the ruble strengthen. Potavin notes that this situation is associated with an active transition in foreign trade to rubles and currencies of friendly countries, which, given the high volumes of imports and capital outflow from Russia is creating a shortage of hard currency in the local market.
Evgeny Kogan once again reminds that the ruble, which went into free fall, will accelerate inflation and force the Central Bank to raise the key rate again.
Nikolay Kulbaka is also confident that in order to combat inflationary processes, the Central Bank will probably tighten monetary policy again in September.
«Which, in turn, will hammer economic growth. Sorry… but somehow it's all illogical. That is, everyone has their own logic. But in general… the picture is more than sad. Maybe the time has already come, alas, in manual mode, but to return the course to a more comfortable position for the economy? Well, for example, at level 85-90? Just don't tell fairy tales that it's impossible. Maybe it is more active to use the „dream“ of exporters to return foreign exchange earnings to their homeland? Given the current realities, there are enough opportunities to quickly return the course to its place. There would be a desire and appropriate orders, » says Evgeny Kogan.
In his opinion, such a scenario — manual control — is quite possible.
BitRiver financial analyst Vladislav Antonov believes that if the dollar manages to overcome the 97 rubles mark, it may soon soar to three-digit values.
«The dollar against the ruble is in a growing trend, although it has taken a too sharp start since the beginning of August, and is already approaching the area of historical highs. This means that the goal of 100 rubles for an „American“ looks real and even close enough, » the expert predicts. In his opinion, Antonov is quoted by the Banking portal.ru, in the next month and a half, the dollar can reach 109 rubles.
But so far there is no point in running to the bank in a panic and buying up currency, he believes. A new increase in the Central Bank's key rate, which most analysts predict at the next meeting of the regulator on September 15, may indirectly support the ruble and turn the dollar towards the goal of 90 rubles, the analyst notes.
Alexey Vedev, head of the Financial research laboratory at the Gaidar Institute, believes that, taking into account the increase in oil prices (if the forecasts of foreign analysts are justified and oil continues to rise in price), by the end of the year the dollar will be in the corridor of 75-80 rubles per dollar and, as a result, inflation will decrease.
Maxim Tymoshenko, Director of the Financial Markets Operations Department at Russian Standard Bank, on the contrary, noted that the increase in energy prices and, in particular, the reduction in the Urals discount, will have a delayed effect, partly offset by a decrease in oil production in Of Russia. And the balance of payments is still decisive for the ruble. And so far it is not in favor of the ruble — active imports with shrinking exports.
Alexander Potavin believes that the increase in oil prices will still support the ruble exchange rate. «But the situation is such that the proceeds from the sale of oil at higher prices are received by exporters with a delay of at least a month. Therefore, perhaps closer to autumn we will see an increase in the volume of hard currency for sale on the domestic market — this will stop the devaluation of the ruble. Our forecast for the dollar exchange rate by the end of the year is 87-97 rubles, and for August — 90-94 rubles, » the analyst of Finama shared his assessment.