The Russian government is ready to act if the ruble slumps further on the domestic foreign exchange market, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said on Monday.
“As for the ruble and the foreign exchange market developments, we discussed these issues in detail at a government meeting chaired by the prime minister on Saturday and necessary instructions were given,” Shuvalov said on the sidelines of the APEC trade ministers’ forum in Kazan.
The ruble continued its slide in Monday’s trade on the MICEX-RTS foreign exchange market, hitting three-year lows against the dollar and the euro amid negative foreign economic data and falling prices of oil, a key source of Russia’s revenues.
As of 13:38 a.m. Moscow time (09:38 GMT), the ruble plunged by 25 kopecks to 33.93 rubles to the dollar and by 50 kopecks against the euro to 42.16. The ruble value of the dollar/euro bi-currency basket fell by 31 kopecks to 37.58.
“If the situation continues developing negatively, we have something to respond to it. We hope the time has not yet come for this,” Shuvalov said.
“Legislatively, everything is prepared. The Bank of Russia will act within its terms of reference and the Finance Ministry and the Economic Development Ministry will act within their competences,” Shuvalov said.
The Bank of Russia stayed away from active intervention in the domestic foreign exchange market during most of last week, letting the ruble value of the dollar/euro bi-currency basket move to the upper boundary of the 32.15-38.15 ruble range set by the regulator.
The regulator intervened heavily only on Friday, selling some $200 million, when the ruble value of the bi-currency basket came close to the upper boundary of the bi-currency basket.