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Putin comments on new CBR head

Answering journalists’ questions on the next governor of the CBR, President Vladimir Putin said that he had a suggestion which was “unexpected, but you will like it.”

We now see increased uncertainty over the next CBR governor: not only has the probability of a new candidate increased significantly (such a candidate must be a political heavyweight), but also those candidates which might previously have been expected have now become less so.

Nevertheless, in our base case scenario we continue to expect that the new candidate, whoever it is, will keep the main direction of the CBR’s policies over the past several years unchanged (towards inflation targeting, a floating exchange rate and the creation of mega-regulator) and, at the same time, will deliver significant monetary policy easing this year.

In the current situation, we see mainly upside risks to our already out-of-consensus expectations. To recap, this year we expect a total 75bp of cuts and a modification of the refinancing mechanism (resulting in cheaper term refinancing) with the monetary policy easing cycle starting in April. 

Maxim Oreshkin, Daria Isakova
VTB Capital analyst

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