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  • 17
    SEP14
    RUB: in the black thanks to the CBR

    Yesterday, RUB renewed its historical lows. Intraday volatility was quite high; in particular, USDRUB surged to 38.80, then touched 38.90 and slipped to 38.50 shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, Brent crude oil price has picked up around 1.0% to USD 97.50, while EM FX index gained 0.3-0.4% vs. USD. Moreover, MXN, BRL, TRY and ZAR ended 0.5-0.7% firmer against USD. In our view, this means that positioning in the market is fairly one way right now, while RUB’s weakening during the previous sessions happened...

  • 17
    SEP14
    CBR – launches new sell/buy FX swap facility

    Yesterday, after the market closed, the CBR launched a new USDRUB sell/buy overnight swap facility to provide dollar liquidity. The implied yield would be around 5.50%, which is lower than the actual money market level. In line with our expectations (see our RUSSIA – CBR Monetary Policy Decision – Reason prevails of 12 September), the CBR has introduced ...

  • 23
    DEC13
    RUB weakened in line with EM FX

    On Friday, RUB marginally weakened against both USD (32.99) and BASKET (38.44). However, RUB slipped only 0.05-0.1%, which was still better than the average performance of EM FX. Thus, on average EM FX weakened 0.3% against USD, with TRY down almost 1.0%, while BRL declined near 1.3%. Overall, last week RUB materially outperformed EM peers: hence, on average EM FX lost near 1.0% to USD, while RUB weakened only 0.4%. Thus, RUB's performance was more correlated with the swings in other commodity-based...

  • 12
    NOV13
    Trade surplus

    According to the CBR, the trade surplus in September continued to expand and advanced to USD 15.7bn (from USD 13.8bn in August), the highest level since March 2013. The annual growth in exports edged up to 3.3%, accelerating from 2.3% in the previous month, and added 4.4% in MoM SA terms. The annual growth in imports rebounded to 5.3%, correcting from a deep drop of 5.3% YoY in August, and the growth in MoM SA terms also improved to 3.8% following two months of decline. During September, the external...

  • 29
    OCT13
    World Bank Doing Business 2014

    The World Bank has released its 2014 Ease of Doing Business rankings. Russia was among the most improved economies 2012-13 (moving up nineteen positions to 92nd from 111th last year) and was one of the top-three countries as far as the scope of reforms was concerned. The biggest progress was in the ‘getting electricity’ category, where Russia surged from 188th (last but one) to 117th, reflecting faster (162 vs. 281 days) and cheaper (USD 37,000 vs. USD 164,000) procedures. There was also a marked...

  • 22
    OCT13
    CBR – halves daily target interventions

    Yesterday, the CBR announced that the amount of daily target interventions had been cut to USD 60mn, from USD 120mn before. The decision follows closely in the footsteps of a series of changes in FX policy that the regulator has introduced since pressure on RUB subsided at the start of September. The liquidity drain through the interventions channel was of concern for the regulator as it interfered with the policy transmission, thus reducing the efficiency of the regulators’ liquidity provision/management...

  • 14
    OCT13
    Trade surplus

    According to the CBR, the trade surplus in August picked up a bit and increased to USD 13.8bn (from USD 13.3bn in July), the highest level this summer. The annual growth in exports slowed to 2.3%, normalising from 5.5% in the previous month, and added 0.9% in MoM SA terms. The annual growth in imports plunged into the red again, with a drop of 5.3% (after 1.5% growth in July) and the growth in MoM SA terms stayed below zero (although printing a softer decline of 2.2% vs. 2.9%). The August trade...

  • 4
    OCT13
    BoP

    According to the CBR, in 3Q13 the CA surplus worsened by two thirds to USD 1.1bn. The key drag on the CA balance came from an increased deficit in services and investment income. The trade balance surplus edged up 11.2% YoY to USD 42.8bn on the slower growth in imports (0.5% YoY) coupled with a 6.8% YoY jump in oil and gas exports. Also, net private capital outflows more than doubled QoQ to USD 14.8bn, but were still notably lower than in 1Q13 (USD 37.8bn). This brings the 9mo13 figure to USD 49...

  • 6
    SEP13
    RUB: decoupling from EM peers

    On Thursday, RUB decoupled from other EM peers, closing flat to its opening vs. BASKET and only 0.3% down vs. USD. USDRUB closed at 33.43 and RUBBASK at 38.15. At the same time, other EM FX were hit again as UST yields have been on an upward trend and 10-year UST was knocking at the 3% level. Thus, RUB gained an extra 0.2% against the EM FX.

  • 3
    SEP13
    RUB: slightly behind EM peers

    Yesterday’s trading activity in the Russian exchange market was fairly low as the US markets were closed. RUB closed 0.2% weaker against both BASKET (38.16) and USD (33.37), while EM FX peers generally ended on a stronger footing as global risk sentiment firmed. As we highlighted last Friday, so far the market does not price in elevated crude oil in RUB as the recent spike in oil looks temporary, especially in light of what looks like a declining probability of military intervention in Syria in the...

  • 28
    AUG13
    RUB: weaker on the day, but better than peers

    ... risk appetite and the continued sell off on the local currency debt markets, yesterday’s price action is nothing spectacular. However, we highlight that RUB looked better than major peers as, on average, the EM FX spectrum surrendered near 0.8% to US Dollar. The CBR continues selling hard currency and the band for RUBBASK most likely now stands at 32.10–39.10 (at least). The strong performance of crude oil clearly provides support for the Russian currency. However, it is still unclear, whether the ...

  • 6
    AUG13
    Non-CIS imports continued to stagnate

    Customs has published its first estimate for non-CIS imports for July. The headline figure came in at USD 24.7bn, with the YoY growth of 0.3% being weaker than the 2.3% in June. Despite the weak headline, the details are not that weak: excluding volatile components, imports gained 2.2% YoY (vs. the decline of 0.3% YoY last month) as in July the YoY weakness was mainly driven by the sharp decline in aircraft imports (- 68% YoY to just USD 314mn). Car imports are still the main drag on imports...

  • 22
    JUL13
    MinEconomy says GDP at 1.7% YoY in 1H13

    According to the Ministry for the Economy, real annual GDP growth advanced to 1.5% in June (adjusting for seasonal and calendar factors, the MoM change in GDP was 0% last month), from 1.0% in May, bringing the growth in 2Q13 to 1.9% YoY, from 1.6% over the first quarter. Thus, over 1H13, Russia's economy added 1.7% YoY. Commenting on the key growth drivers, Deputy Minister for Economic Development Andrey Klepach mentioned household demand, while investments were lagging. He also said that the economy...

  • 12
    JUL13
    Trade surplus prints one-off pick-up in May

    According to the CBR, the trade surplus in May advanced to USD 15.0bn (from USD 14.2bn in April), the second highest level this year. The scale of its contraction in annual terms also moderated, to 14.3%. Exports continued to decline, but the decline intensified to 9.3% YoY, while in MoM SA terms it returned to the black: +0.9%. Annual growth in imports plunged to the negative area, with a drop of 6.3% YoY (and of -2.4% MoM SA) from a rather strong increase of 10.1% YoY in the previous month. ...

  • 9
    JUL13
    OPEC production fell in June

    OPEC production is seen to have dropped MoM in June, according to estimates by the technical press, with Libyan production in particular weaker MoM. Argus and MEES put June OPEC production down 340kb/d and 370kb/d MoM, respectively. Libyan production is estimated some 170-250kb /d lower MoM in June on continued unrest and labour disruptions. Industrial action at oil terminals reduced production and forced shut-downs , including at Repsol’s 350kb/d El Sharara field. Production at Eni’s (Hold, TP...

  • 9
    JUL13
    MinFin plans start FX purchases at end-August

    Yesterday, Deputy Minister of Finance Alexey Moiseev stated that beginning at the end of August the Ministry could start purchasing up to USD 40-50mn per day on the open market to replenish the Reserve Fund. He added that currently the FY13 transfer to the Reserve Fund is estimated at RUB 149bn. To calculate the maximum daily volume of MinFin’s purchases, this sum needs to be divided by the number of working days left until the end of the year. The estimate of the FY13 transfer to the Reserve Fund...

  • 4
    JUL13
    EIA data

    The US EIA data for the week to 28 June saw a sharp, and counter-seasonal, drop in total oil inventory, down 14.7mmbbl WoW. At 1,129mmbbl, total oil inventory remains high, above the top of the seasonal range. The large stock draw was mainly due to a drop in crude inventory, down 10.4mmbbl (-2.6%) WoW to 383.8mmbbl and now only a fraction above the top of the seasonal range. That came about as crude imports were sharply lower, down 0.9mmb/d WoW at 7.4mmb/d, while refinery crude throughput rose to...

  • 4
    JUL13
    2Q13 BoP first estimate

    According to the CBR, in 2Q13 the CA surplus declined 57% YoY to USD 6.9bn. The trade balance narrowed for the fourth consecutive quarter, decreasing 13% YoY on a contraction in oil and gas exports (-5% YoY to USD 85.6bn), while softer imports was supportive for the trade surplus. Deficits of other CA items (except rent) have been expanding, reducing the CA surplus. The financial account deficit narrowed 45% YoY. Notably, in 2Q13 the volume of FDI outflow and inflow normalised after the 1Q13 numbers...

  • 1
    JUL13
    1Q13 BoP final estimate

    Late Friday, the CBR published its final estimate of BoP and external debt in 1Q13. The CA surplus was revised down USD 2.8bn to USD 25.1bn, mainly due to the upwards revision of the investment income and services deficits. The FDI balance hit a record low of a USD 26.5bn deficit as the net increase in foreign liabilities was lower than the net hike in foreign assets. The portfolio investment balance also printed a deficit following four quarters of surpluses, although it was modest (USD 1.1bn)....

  • 28
    JUN13
    RUB: lagging other EM FX on the bounce

    On Thursday, RUB opened around 32.90 vs. USD and around 37.40 vs. BASK, i.e. unchanged from the previous day. However, as risk appetite increased throughout the day, it lagged other EM currencies. However, after the NY opening, RUBBASK moved sharply down to 37.25 and closed around these levels. Furthermore, crude oil prices recovered to around USD 103/bbl, which is likely to provide further support to RUB. In our view, RUB might underperform other EM FX on the bounce, because the market positioning...

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