Bloomberg News

Ruble Heads for Second Weekly Decline Against Bank Rossii Basket

March 22, 2013

The ruble headed for its second consecutive weekly drop against the central bank’s target euro- dollar basket as oil dropped amid a deadlock over Cyprus financial turmoil.

The Russian currency was little changed against Bank Rossii’s basket at 34.9898 by 2:19 p.m. in Moscow, on course for a weekly decline of 0.4 percent. The ruble advanced less than 0.1 percent against dollar to 30.9140.

Brent oil futures slipped as much as 0.5 percent today, bringing the loss this week to 2.5 percent, as Cypriot lawmakers prepare to a debate ways to unlock bailout funds to avoid a financial collapse. Oil and gas account for about half of Russia’s state budget revenue.

The ruble’s decline is only being held back by “growing volumes of foreign currency revenue sales” as mineral- extraction tax payments come due on March 25, OAO Rosbank (ROSB) analysts led by Vladimir Kolychev said in a note to clients.

Russian companies will have to transfer about 200 billion rubles ($6.5 billion) to the state budget on that day, according to HSBC Holdings Plc estimates.

“Exporters’ peak activity from MET payments falls in the next two trading sessions and will likely mitigate the ruble’s decline,” the analysts said.

Yield on OFZ bonds due Feb. 2027 fell four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 7.38 percent, declining for the third day. The yield is 54 basis points off a record low of 6.84 percent on Jan. 10.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vladimir Kuznetsov in Moscow at vkuznetsov2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at wmoskwa@bloomberg.net


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