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RUB: in the red as taxes end


On Friday, RUB closed 0.9% lower against USD at 61.75. We think that, with the end of the tax period, the hard currency offering from export declined, which slightly changed the balance in the Russian FX market. Meanwhile, Brent surged 3.6% to USD 61.8/bbl, which we think could constrain the potential further correction of RUB. However, NOK and NGN traded in the red as well (0.1% and 0.5%, respectively) ignoring the stronger commodity market. The EM FX index closed 0.1-0.2% in the black, with BRL up 2.3% and MXN firming 0.3%, which helped to offset a 1.1% drop in TRY. Separately, we estimate that the FX debt payments of Russian corporates and banks are markedly lower than in February, while the efficiency of the CBR's FX refinancing facilities increased, as in February banks secured USD 11.6bn net from the regulator. Subsequently, the balance in the USD interbank market now looks to be at its most solid since July 2014, judging by the spread between overnight FX swap and RUONIA. Hence, from this side, the pressure on RUB is likely to be lower in March than in previous months, in our view.

Maxim Korovin, Tatiana Zueva
VTB Capital analysts


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