Andrei Kostin: dollar to decline by six rubles

Until the end of 2017, the ruble exchange rate may strengthen by 10%, the head of VTB Andrey Kostin said.

"We believe that the ruble had to strengthen, but it was before  the government announced the purchase of dollars," PRIME cited him as saying.

According to Kostin, these steps are balancing the factors that could help to strengthen the ruble. The VTB head said that the ruble is undervalued and it could strengthen by 10% before the New Year.

The Chairman of the Board of the National Currency Association (NCA), Dmitry Piskulov, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, said that the ruble is not undervalued. "The dollar exchange rate at the level of 60 rubles and higher corresponds to the state of the Russian economy, the budget, inflow and outflow of investments, as well as to foreign trade," he noted.

"We are unlikely to see the dollar exchange rate declining six rubles lower against the ruble. Of course, the dollar may decline to 50 rubles, but it would not be a fair level. It would be a consequence of a speculative inflow, which in reality will be met by dollar purchases, so the dollar exchange rate will return to the level of around 60 rubles," the expert said.

However, he drew attention to the fact that, in spite of the Bank of Russia's policy of noninterference in the exchange rate, the Central Bank's purchases does not play a key role for the Ministry of Finance, as they are very small. "The Bank of Russia and the government are concerned by the strengthening of the ruble, but they cannot help it. Of course, they can take indirect measures of changes in refinancing conditions, or changes in the conditions for excess liquidity in the market," the chairman of the Board of the National Currency Association (NCA) explained.

"The fact is that this influx will not last forever. We have already seen an influx since November last year. Then there was an increase in stock indexes. Of course, the markets showed growth, but nonetheless the situation in the Russian economy is far from being complacent," the expert noted.

In addition, he pointed out that it does not give grounds to speak about the strong influence of the economy. "I think that the dollar may decline to 55 rubles, but then it will roll back to 60 rubles. Especially because oil is unlikely to rise above $60 per barrel. The summer season is coming. Consequently, less fuel will be consumed. The inventories in the US stocks are increasing, so oil prices may decline, on the contrary," Dmitry Piskulov concluded.

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