No artificial liquidity crunch – Nabiullina

File Photo of Elvira Nabiullina at OECD Event, at Podium and On Large Video Screen

MOSCOW. April 7 (Interfax) – There’s no artificial deliberate liquidity crunch in Russia, Elvira Nabiullina, head of the Central Bank, said.

“There’s no artificial liquidity crunch,” she said.

She said the ruble was strengthening due to the stabilization of oil prices, and end to peak foreign debt repayments and a high key rate.

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph“Some people have described the ruble’s strengthening in the last few months as a quantitative, engineered squeeze on ruble liquidity. They are comparing the amounts that we provided at weekly REPO auctions. I’d like to say this is not quite the case. In our view the ruble has strengthened due to a number of factors: the stabilization of oil prices, the end of peak foreign debt repayments, more even sales of foreign currency by exporters, our higher key lending rate and the development of foreign currency refinancing tools,” Nabiullina said.

Russian Central Bank file photo

She said the Central Bank adopted a conservative approach to ruble liquidity in December, which manifested itself in money market rates departing from the Central Bank’s interest rate corridor for a few days and exceeding it considerably. Money market rates have stayed within the corridor this year, Nabiullina said.

“This means our transmission mechanism is working and that there’s no artificial crunch,” she said.

[featured images are file photos]