Russian Monetary-Policy Changes Are Possible, Putin’s Pick Says

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

(Bloomberg – – Artyom Danielyan & Olga Tanas – March 22, 1013)

Russia’s central bank may change its monetary policy even as its new leadership focuses on continuity, said Elvira Nabiullina, President Vladimir Putin’s nominee to take over as Bank Rossii chairman in June.

“Policy continuity should be maintained, because the credibility factor is very important in the banking system,” Nabiullina told reporters in Moscow today, her first public comments since Putin nominated her for the job on March 12. “But this doesn’t mean there won’t be changes, because life changes, new challenges appear, everything moves.”

Nabiullina, Putin’s former aide, takes over at the helm of monetary policy as the economy is expanding at the slowest pace since a recession in 2009. That prompted the Russian leader this month urge all state economic institutions to promote growth.

The new governor will replace Sergey Ignatiev, who is coming to the end of his third and final term. He had led a charge against inflation, which surged to the fastest pace in 18 months, resisting government pressure to stimulate a flagging economy. Nabiullina’s nomination is pending parliamentary approval.

The ruble traded at 30.913 per dollar at 2:21 p.m. in Moscow, compared with 30.9345 yesterday. It has weakened 1.5 percent in the past month.

Gross domestic product rose 0.1 percent in February from a year earlier, slowing from 1.6 percent in January, according to a government estimate. That compares with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s long-term target of 5 percent annual expansion.

Russia, the largest emerging country to increase interest rates last year, is struggling to restrain inflation that exceeds the central bank’s target range of 5 percent to 6 percent and accelerated to 7.3 percent in February.

Article ©2013 BLOOMBERG L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Article also appeared at