The head of Russia’s central bank defended on Tuesday its decision to float the rouble, saying it had restricted speculative attacks on the currency and the country’s financial markets were resilient to a slump in oil prices.
The central bank has been under intense pressure to stem a slide in the rouble, which has fallen almost 30 percent against the dollar this year as oil prices have plummeted and sanctions over the Ukraine crisis have locked Russian firms out of international capital markets.
Since floating the rouble earlier this month, the bank has emphasised it reserves the right to carry out large, ad hoc interventions to defend the currency – a warning Governor Elvira Nabiullina reiterated.
“A floating exchange rate allows to reduce speculative pressure on the rouble, which has played a far from minor role in the currency’s recent slide,” she told the lower house of parliament.
“We have warned market players that we are ready to come out with unexpected interventions if events develop negatively. In these conditions, speculative strategies become far more risky.”
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