Chairman of Central Bank: Rouble must be reinforced by 4-6% in 2003

Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed with Chairman of the Central Bank Sergey Ignatyev the condition of the Russian bank system, exchange rate of the rouble and the level of inflation. According to the president's press service, Ignatyev told the president that the bank sector developed successfully in 2002. He said that all the primary indicators of the bank system - assets, capital, credit - grew relatively quickly, even more quickly than the gross domestic product (gdp).

Ingnatyev said that at the present time it is advisable to pass a number of laws. In part, a law on the regulation and control of foreign currency is needed, which proposes the future liberalization of foreign currency regulation and will allow for the complete conversion of the rouble in several years.

Ignatyev also informed the president about the condition of the Russian currency. He said the rouble must be reinforced by 4-6% for the year. For the first months of 2003, that indicator reached 3%. Speaking about inflation indicators, Ignatyev said that they continue to decrease though not as quickly as he would like. At the beginning of the year, inflation stood at 6.3% compared to 6.6% last year. The goal for this year is to keep the level of inflation between 10-12%.

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