Russian monetary base up $728 mln in week to $106.9 bln
MOSCOW, March 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Central Bank said on Friday the country's narrowly defined money supply (M1) was 3 trillion 741.4 billion rubles ($106.9 billion at the current exchange rate) as of March 10, up 25.5 billion rubles ($728.3 million) in the week since March 2.
According to the Bank, M1 money supply consists of the currency issued by the bank, including cash in vaults of credit institutions, and required reserves balances on ruble deposits with the Central Bank.
Ignatyev Against Controls
The Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev said Thursday that he was strongly opposed to the introduction of currency controls.
"I am personally strongly against the introduction of capital controls," Ignatyev told a news conference after a meeting with European Central Bank representatives in Vienna.
Ignatyev also said the ruble exchange rate had stabilized and the Central Bank was not having to intervene much in the currency market. (Reuters)
Russian bank balances fall to 381.4 bln rbls
03.13.09, 03:29 AM EDT
MOSCOW, March 13 (Reuters) - Banks' balances in their correspondent accounts at the Russian central bank fell to 381.4 billion roubles on Friday from 396.2 billion roubles in the previous session, the central bank said.
All figures are in billions of roubles
BALANCES March 13 March 12
Total 381.4 396.2
Moscow region 239.8 254.1
Banks' deposits at
The central bank 144.8 129.5
NOTE - Correspondent account balances are an indicator of Russian banks' liquidity.
Keywords: RUSSIA BALANCES/
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Budget Surplus Falls To $3.3Bln
13 March 2009
The government's budget surplus shrank to 116.3 billion rubles ($3.3 billion) at the end of February from 359.8 billion rubles the previous month, the Finance Ministry said Thursday, citing preliminary figures.
Revenue reached 1.2 trillion rubles, or 11.2 percent of the amount the government planned for 2009, while spending was 1.1 trillion rubles, or 12 percent of planned expenditures, the ministry said.
Revenues collected by the Federal Tax Service accounted for 480 billion rubles of the total, while the largely oil-based tariff revenues collected by the Federal Customs Service accounted for 416 billion rubles.
Russia is bracing for a recession and its first budget deficit after 10 years of growth as slowing global demand pushes down the price of Urals crude oil, the country's chief export earner.
The Finance Ministry is due to submit a revised budget to the government later this month that includes a shortfall of about 8 percent as revenue drops 30 percent.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called for the budget to be recalculated based on a oil price of $41 per barrel. The previous budget was based on an average price of $95 per barrel.
At the beginning of March, the country's oil funds, the Reserve Fund and the National Welfare Fund, stood at 4,870 billion rubles and 2,996 billion rubles, respectively.
February budget slips into deficit
March 13, 2009
According to the Ministry of Finance, the Russian state budget surplus in January-February was RUB 116.3bn, with cumulative revenues reaching 11.2% of the 2009 plan (non-sequestered version) and expenditures rising to 12% of the plan. In February, the budget slipped to a RUB 240bn deficit, from an almost RUB 360bn surplus in January.
The budget surplus in January was a one-off due to the more than RUB 300bn increase in 'other revenues'. February revenues were only 4% of the revenues planned in the current budget (with oil prices at USD 95/bbl). More importantly, they accounted for only about 7% of the likely revenues in the revised budget (based on oil at USD 41/bbl). This highlights the downside risks to the government's forecast of a budget deficit of 8% of GDP this year. Budget expenditures increased 67% MoM in February. However, they stood at only 7.5% of the planned expenditures for this year (in the revised budget, expenditures are likely to remain the same or slightly increase). This suggests that expenditures may surge at the end of the year, as they usually do.
Trade Balance Widens In January
March 13, 2009
The Central Bank reports that the trade balance widened to $9.3 bln in January from $4.6 bln in December. Though exports declined 43% y-o-y in nominal terms, imports also dropped 34% y-o-y. Thus, the trade balance has started to provide enough liquidity to the forex market to allow the Central Bank to stabilize the exchange rate.
The rapid adjustment of foreign trade to new external budget constraints illustrates our view that there does not exist a "breakeven oil price" for the current account, even in the shortrun, if the country is not able to borrow from abroad. The economy corrects domestic demand and the exchange rate, and the current account remains positive at any oil price.
At the beginning of the year, the trade balance declined in nominal terms compared with January 2008 ($18.9 bln). However, in real terms, net exports grew by at least 15%, we estimate. While the fall in nominal exports was associated with the correction in commodity prices, real exports shrank by only around 5-7% and the decline of real importswas close to 25-30%. As a result, net exports grew y-o-y in real terms.
Net exports this year will be up in real terms. However, domestic demand should also recover to allow GDP to demonstrate positive growth. We reiterate our view that this is possible, as macroeconomic policy seems to be quite relevant at the moment.