Following a significant buying of US currency by commercial banks on the first morning session this year, the balance on correspondent accounts considerably dropped today. This drop amounted to almost RUR10bn (about $327m) at all Russian banks and RUR7.5bn (about $245.3m) at banks located in Moscow and the Moscow region. In an interview with RBC, dealers drew attention to the fact that the balance on correspondent account had fallen by almost RUR58bn (about $1.9bn) at all banks in the country and by over RUR38bn (about $1.24bn) in the past four days. Today a lot of banks continued buying up dollars. It is quite likely that the balance on correspondent accounts will drop further tomorrow. Experts do not exclude the possibility that commercial banks may start facing problems with ruble liquidity by the end of this business day, because all payments for dollars, which were bought at the unified trading session, must be settled the same day. In any event, a mass buy-up of dollars on Wednesday and Thursday will inevitably cause a ruble liquidity crisis. In such circumstances, the Central Bank will immediately limit or even stop its currency interventions, which will be favorable for its gold and currency reserves, the experts said.
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