Author`s name Olga Savka

Russia Experiencing Dollar Deficit

In the thick of squabbles between law enforcement structures and oligarchs, the dollar is recovering its positions of the eternal value
The dollar is recovering its position all over the world. Opinions of analysts on the subject seriously differ: will the reviving initiate more speedy increase of the US currency or it is just the first sign of the dollar's new life? There are many arguments in favor of both positions. And here in Russia, it should be mentioned here that fluctuations of the dollar on the world markets are marked with specific confrontation between oligarchs belonging to the "Family" and law enforcement structures, which is quite understandable on the eve of forthcoming parliamentary elections.

The RF Prosecutor's Office claims that the owners of Yukos, the most "civilized" Russian company, who are closely connected with Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has violated a number of laws. President of the state-run oil company Rosneft Sergey Bogdanchikov publicly blamed Yukos for stealing of a share holding of Yeniseineftegas. Head of the Russian Accounting Chamber Sergey Stepashin is sure that Roman Abramovich, the main shareholder of the Sibneft oil company now merging with Yukos, bought the Chelsea football club because of underpayment of taxes to the budget. It is quite natural that interest to the dollar as to the eternal value has revived once again.
Although politicians say that the dollar's time hasn't come yet, the US currency has started strengthening with respect to the ruble. This strengthening is even stronger than market makers have expected it to be. On July 8, the dollar rate considerably increased in SELT. Experts are sure that the increase is not connected with the resolution issued by President Putin on reduction of obligatory sale of currency proceeds by oil exporters from 50% to 30%. This reduction of the obligatory currency proceeds sales is necessary for the government as it will give the budget an opportunity of a maneuver while making foreign debt payments.

Experts said that the dollar increase was registered against the background of ruble liquidity in banks (this means there were no sources to invest spare rubles), and also at the time when the dollar-to-euro rate strengthened on the world markets and because of apprehensions that more acts of terrorism may be organized in Russia soon. Analysts say that for the time being the dollar increase is restricted with high oil prices in the world. RosBusinessConsulting reports that currency proceeds of exporters do arrive to the Russian domestic market.

Meanwhile, interest of Russian investors in the dollar increased so much that another batch of currency proceeds couldn’t meet the demand. An analyst with the Echo Moskvy radio explains that dollars sold by exporters were immediately bought up by speculators. As a result, the dollar rate went up. The official dollar rate announced by the RF Central Bank for July 9 made up 30.3574 rubles per dollar.

Experts are still sure that weakening or strengthening of the dollar rate is connected with a slowdown of the reserves in June and the high liquidity volume accumulated through purchase of currency in the previous half a year. The ruble weakening is certainly connected with the scandal about Yukos and the act of terrorism at the beer festival in Tushino, but it is hardly likely this will break up the tendency. Analysts are sure that until the end of the year the dollar rate will fluctuate within the limits of 30.3-30.4 rubles per dollar and won't exceed today’s level. Let’s wait and see if the forecasts prove true or not.

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