Russia's Central bank may restart FX buying for Finance ministry in January

Russia's Central bank may restart FX buying for Finance ministry in January

Russia's Central Bank may resume foreign currency purchases that were put on hold earlier this year as soon as January 15, 2019, Central Bank governor Elvira Nabiullina said at the VTB Capital forum in Moscow.

"If the current situation on the financial markets continues, we think it will be possible to resume the regular purchases of foreign currency after the New Year holidays, from the 15th of January,” Bloomberg cited her as saying.

The decision on foreign-currency buying will be announced at the next board meeting on December 14. Nabiullina noted that purchases will be conducted very gradually through at least 2021.

The central bank has been buying foreign currency as a part of a fiscal rule aimed at limiting the impact of oil prices on the ruble. Under the mechanism, the Finance Ministry converts ruble revenue from oil prices above $40 a barrel into foreign currency held in a rainy-day fund at the central bank, which then sells the rubles to build up its reserves. That final leg of the transactions was suspended in August.

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