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FX swap-RUONIA spread turned positive


The situation with banking liquidity remained comfortable last week as banks continue to run an elevated level of free reserves. In particular, the total balance of banks' current accounts in the CBR this morning was reported at RUB 1.4tn, which we estimate is about RUB 200bn above the necessary level. In addition, banks are keeping near RUB 415bn on the CBR's deposits. Nevertheless, on Friday banks borrowed RUB 200bn from the regulator in overnight repo and RUB 35bn in the FX swap window. However, as we have argued before, it is likely that only a few banks are driving demand for the CBR's standing refinancing tools, while the system on the whole is balanced. We highlight that despite the swings in the overnight FX swap rate, RUONIA is stable, so that last Thursday the spread between the overnight FX swap rate and RUONIA turned slightly positive as the latter decreased to 16.85%. This week, the Treasury is due to conduct two deposit auctions (RUB 150bn each), meaning the total volume of Treasury deposits could reach RUB 905bn if the entire amount is taken. This would help to offset the liquidity outflow to the budget during tax payments. Front-end NDF rates surged near 80-100bp on Friday, perhaps on the back of profit taking. Hence, the 1M NDF rate closed at 18.64%, while 3M NDF settled at 18.82%. Longer-dated XCCY swap rates increased 20-40bp. 3M MosPrime moved down -39bp to 20.74%, and as a result one-year IRS closed at 18.85% (-45bp). Subsequently the basis swap narrowed near 50-70bp.

Maxim Korovin, Tatiana Zueva
VTB Capital analysts

money market

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