Russia's Finance Minister: ruble to be stable at oil price of $55
Russia's Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that the ministry could spend around 2 trillion rubles ($35 billion) on foreign currency next year if Urals prices are at $54-55 per barrel.
"This would more than offset the envisaged reserves spending next year," Siluanov said, adding that his ministry would increase foreign exchange purchases next year to level of up to 70% of non-oil and gas budget revenues from around 30-40% at present.
The finance minister said the increased foreign currency purchases would reduce the ruble’s vulnerability to volatility on capital markets in 2018.
"If oil prices average $60 per barrel, the finance ministry would buy around 2.8 trillion rubles," Reuters cited Siluanov as saying.
Siluanov said he expected the ruble, trading in a range between 57 and 59 versus the dollar for a few weeks, to stay at these levels in 2018 if oil prices hover near $55 per barrel.
The minister added that the ruble forecast is valid if "there are no new additional sanctions and nuisances due to external restrictions".