Photo: Alexander Miridonov / Kommersant
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov is right that the ruble is overvalued, say analysts interviewed by RBC. However, verbal intervention has no effect — right now the weakening of the national currency is not worth waiting, I guess they
The ruble is overvalued, in a short time the rate of the domestic currency will decline, they say four out of five analysts surveyed by RBC. The verbal intervention, which is not the first time use of power, cease to operate — the market responds to macroeconomic indicators, experts say. The Central Bank believes that the ruble is near its equilibrium level.
About “perioralny” of the ruble on Monday said Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, while in Baden-Baden at the annual meeting of the representatives of the G20. “Now we see that the exchange rate strengthened again, and as we realize that the fundamental values of the rate deviated by 10-12%, now it makes sense to buy foreign currency to meet their current obligations,” he said. The Minister explained that does not mean the intervention due to the windfall from oil for more than $40 (in February the Ministry of Finance acquires the currency on the windfall from oil), and the acquisition of funds from the Central Bank for the repayment of external loans. In March, the Finance Ministry has already purchased the regulator for $500 million, and in General can increase the volume of purchases up to $1 billion, said Siluanov.
How perekrestimsya ruble
At the end of the previous trading day March 17 (before the application Siluanov), the dollar was 57,22 RUB (as of the close of trading on the Moscow stock exchange). Thus, a fair rate, as follows from the siluanova should be at the level of 63.6–65 rubles per dollar. This is an adequate assessment: fundamental rate — 60-65 rubles per dollar, and the forecast Siluanov is in this range, says chief economist at Alfa Bank Natalia Orlova. The ruble is now “stronger than average values, which could be when the price of oil” (64 rubles per dollar), indicates the chief economist of “Renaissance Capital” in Russia and the CIS Oleg Kuzmin. According to 18:30 GMT, a barrel of oil of mark Brent during the day cost from $a 51.02 to $51,94. Oil not falling below $50 from November 29.
The relationship between oil prices and the ruble exchange rate decreased due to high interest rates and the direction of capital flows, points out the chief economist of the Eurasian development Bank Yaroslav Lissovolik. With the current balance of payments fair rate, in his opinion, should reach 60-61 rubles per dollar.
But one cannot hold the ruble unfair, emphasizes Kuzmin, he has reached such a level due to several temporary factors. “There is a seasonality of the current account in the first quarter we have weak imports, which reduces the demand for foreign currency. Was of currency flows related to privatization transactions (in December Glencore and Qatar’s sovereign Fund bought a 19.5% stake in Rosneft for €10,5, this was the largest privatization deal in 2016. — RBC). There is a high level of real rates”, lists Kuzmin. The ruble weakening will occur when the reduction of the key rate, says Lissovolik, its worth the wait in the second quarter, in March, the Central Bank rate will not decrease, although it will soften the rhetoric.
Now the strengthening of the ruble contributes to the seasonal current account balance, this factor will come to naught in the second and third quarter, the analyst of Raiffeisenbank Denis Poryvai. By this time, according to his forecast, the dollar will be worth 63-65 RUB with oil at $55. “If oil prices remain at the current level of $51, it is likely that we will see above 65 rubles per dollar” — the analyst believes.
The Central Bank does not share concerns
The ruble in February strengthened due to the sale of earnings by exporters, and the growth of demand for risky assets in global markets, acknowledged the Central Bank at Friday’s review of “the Liquidity of the banking sector and financial markets”. However, the regulator stresses that “Although on some days these factors led to “excessive” strengthening of the ruble, in General, by the end of February 2017, the Russian national currency was formed near its short-term equilibrium level”. The price of oil was stable, and the volatility of the ruble was at low levels, says the review.
With Siluanov do not agree, and a senior economist at Danske Bank Vladimir miklashevskii. The current level of oil prices in ruble “nothing critical” for the budget, the domestic currency is close to equilibrium value, he says.
The words do not help
Policy of verbal intervention aims to “somehow” deter the strengthening of the ruble, says miklashevskii. Siluanov’s statement — this is not the first time, but the market is rather driven by the difference in the rates in Russia and other countries, which would produce profits to carry trade, he said.
Start verbal interventions January 19, gave the first Vice-Premier Igor Shuvalov, who said about the bad influence of ruble volatility on exporters. Since then, the ruble perioralny periodically said Siluanov, his former Deputy, now Minister of economic development Maxim Oreshkin. The market reacted to their statements (see the chart), but significant weakening of the domestic currency has not happened. On the contrary, if the January 18 trading on the Moscow stock exchange closed at 59,56 rubles per dollar, March 20, as at 21:30 Moscow time for one dollar gave 57,46 RUB Siluanov said in February that if not for currency purchases by the Ministry of Finance, the ruble would be even stronger.
The course responds to the statements of officials only the short-term, says Poryvai from Raiffeisenbank. “Strong influence” on the ruble, they will not, agrees the analyst of “Renaissance Capital” Kuzmin. Intervention work on two occasions, says Natalia Orlova, or when used for the first time or when the officials give concrete promises. “We see that even the decision of the Ministry of Finance to carry out purchase of foreign currency sufficient had little effect on the readings. So at the moment there is the impression that the Ministry of Finance lacks the resources to bring the rate back to its fundamental value,” she concludes.