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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Russian central bank announces measures to restore financial stability

Russian central bank announces measures to restore financial stability

 A police officer guards the entrance to the head office of the Central Bank in Moscow on December 17, 2014.
A police officer guards the entrance to the head office of the Central Bank in Moscow on
December 17, 2014.Photograph: YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images

BIG NEWS FROM MOSCOW: The Russian Central Bank has just announced a series of measures to “maintain the stability of the Russian financial sector”.

The news has sent the rouble surging on the foreign exchanges.

The CBR says it is preparing to pump more money into its banks next year. It is also relaxing some banking standards, to effectively allow banks to temporarily ignore losses caused by the currency crisis, and use a more favourable rouble exchange rate.

It’s an attempt to ease the crisis that is gripping Russia, and spooking the global markets. The news has sent the rouble surging, up 10% to 61.8 to the dollar as I type.

The details are here, in Russian.

The key measures include:
·    A pledge to recapitalise credit institutions next year, in partnership with the Government of the Russian Federation.

·    Banks will, temporarily, be freed from having to recognise losses on their securities portfolios, to “reduce the sensitivity of market participants to market risk”.

·    The CBR will offer banks more opportunities to buy foreign exchange funds through auctions run by the bank.

·    Banks will be allowed to, temporarily, use the rouble exchange rate of the previous quarter when assessing the value of their assets.

The CBR will offer more support to the Moscow Stock Exchange, to help it distribute liquidity through the markets.
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