Capital outflow from Russia not yet slowing, ruble not to weaken substantially – Klepach

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 16, 2013) Capital outflow from Russia is not yet slowing but the ruble will not weaken to any great extent, even if oil prices fall, Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach told Interfax.

“The ruble will not weaken substantially even if oil prices fall markedly. The Central Bank (in that event) will lose more reserves,” Klepach said, when asked whether the large anticipated capital outflow this year might result in a significant devaluation of the ruble.

Asked whether capital outflow was decreasing, he said: “Not yet, but it ought to contract together with the current account surplus, which is narrowing.”

The Central Bank estimates net capital outflow at $38.3 billion in H1 2013. The Russian Economic Development Ministry estimates another $6 billion-$7 billion flowed out of the country in July and this did not look like it abated in August. The Central Bank is forecasting $67 billion outflow for the year, while the Econ Ministry expects this will be closer to $70 billion-$75 billion.

Regarding media reports he might be leaving the Econ Ministry, Klepach said: “For now I’m not leaving, but anything’s possible later on.”