The ruble rises as Russia reimposes capital controls


Russia re-imposed some Capital controls It has come forward in the wake of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in a new attempt to prop up the ruble as the cost of war weighs heavily on the economy.

The struggling currency rose 3.4% on Thursday to trade at 96 against the US dollar – its strongest level in just over two weeks – after Moscow… Announce It announced late Wednesday that it would force dozens of exporters to convert their foreign revenues into rubles.

According to the statement, Russia’s financial regulator, Rosfinmonitoring, will monitor and apply the new requirements to 43 companies in the energy, metals and manufacturing industries. wheat And other sectors.

“The main purpose of these measures is to create long-term conditions for increased transparency and predictability of the currency market, [and] To reduce the opportunity for currency speculation, “Russia First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov said in a statement on Wednesday.

Controls Similar To those imposed by Moscow in February 2022, just days after it launched its attack on Ukraine, and after a series of Western sanctions led to the collapse of the ruble to its lowest level ever at 135 against the dollar.

At that time, Russia Exporters order To exchange 80% of its foreign exchange earnings into rubles, instead of keeping them To US dollars or euros. the government Also banned Residents from making bank transfers outside Russia, and Russian brokers from selling securities held by foreigners.

The ruble has lost more than a third of its value against the dollar since the beginning of this year As the crushing cost of the war in Ukraine impacts Moscow’s export-oriented economy, which can no longer depend on Russia. High oil and gas revenues.

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Decreased revenue of the energy industry contributed to the decline Russia Current account surplusWhich fell by 79% between January and September compared to the same period in 2022. This vanishing gap between the country’s exports and imports has played a role in the ruble’s depreciation, according to the Russian Central Bank.

Russian defense spending has ballooned since its invasion of Ukraine last year. According to a government document seen by Reuters in August in Moscow It expects its defense spending to reach 9.7 trillion rubles ($100 billion) in 2023, nearly three times what it spent on defense in 2021, before the war.

Russia’s budget deficit – the gap between government spending and income – has skyrocketed since the beginning of the war.

Russian Ministry of Finance, Friday He said The deficit reached 1.7 trillion rubles ($17 billion) in the first nine months of the year. This compares to a surplus of 203 billion rubles ($2 billion) during the same period in 2022.

In August, the central bank implemented this An emergency hike in the key interest rate in an attempt to support the falling ruble.

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