The Russian Ministry of Finance will reduce the purchase of foreign currency on the stock exchange to replenish the National Welfare Fund.
From May 11 to June 4, 123.7 billion rubles will be allocated from the federal budget for these purposes, the department said on Thursday.
These funds will be converted into dollars (35%), euros (35%), Chinese yuan (15%), British pounds (10%) and Japanese yen (5%) under a fiscal rule that requires treasury revenues from oil is more expensive than $ 43.3 per barrel.
The budget in May will receive 176.5 billion rubles of such super-profits, the Ministry of Finance estimates. However, the April receipts turned out to be 52.8 billion rubles lower than forecasted. This amount was deducted by the authorities from the volume of the May interventions, which will thus amount to 6.5 billion rubles (87 million dollars) per day.
Compared to April, the daily purchase of foreign currency will decrease by 23%, and the total amount – by a third (due to fewer working days). At current rates, the Ministry of Finance will withdraw $ 1.66 billion from the market in May, in addition to the $ 6.4 billion purchased in January-April.
Although the volume of interventions will decrease, it will become much more difficult for the market to “digest” them: the balance of foreign exchange flows in the economy begins to deteriorate seasonally, and the amount of currency for the state on the stock exchange becomes less.
In the first quarter, Russia received $ 16.7 billion in current account surplus of the balance of payments. This is the conditional “foreign exchange profit” of the economy – the amount that remained from export earnings after the outflow for imports and other main items.
The Ministry of Finance has withdrawn from the NWF through interventions less than a quarter – $ 4 billion, thus leaving about $ 12 billion of “free currency” on the market.
Already in April, the volume of interventions practically equaled the balance of payments – the Ministry of Finance bought $ 2.4 billion, and the economy “earned” about $ 2.3 billion, estimates Raiffeisenbank analyst Statislav Murashov.
In May, the situation will be even worse: with interventions of 1.66 billion, the balance of payments surplus will decrease to 1.2 billion dollars “against the backdrop of a recovery growth in imports with relatively weak export dynamics,” predicts Murashov.
This situation will lead to an outflow of foreign exchange liquidity and will begin to put pressure on the ruble exchange rate, the expert warns.
The Ministry of Finance, we recall, resumed foreign exchange interventions to replenish the NWF at the beginning of the year.
The Central Bank, acting in the interests of the department, bought $ 1.4 billion in January, $ 0.6 billion in February, $ 2 billion in March and $ 2.4 billion in April.
As of May 1, the liquid, that is, the unspent part of the fund, placed in foreign currency accounts with the Central Bank, reached $ 116.4 billion, or 7.5% of Russia’s forecasted GDP.
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