14 Sep 2018 17:03

Central Bank sees no FX hoarding by major exporters - Nabiullina

MOSCOW. Sept 14 (Interfax) - The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) is monitoring the situation with forex sales by the 30 biggest exporters and observed more than a 50% increase on FX sales in August, in line with growth for oil prices, Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina told a press conference.

"As for exporters, we are monitoring the situation constantly. Here we don't see any forex earnings being hoarded," she said, when asked whether she agreed with Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin, who claims exporters are holding onto forex.

"For example in August, sales of FX on the part of the 30 biggest exporters - we monitor 30 - rose more than 50%, roughly as much as oil prices grew. There's no hoarding going on here, we have not seen that effect," she said.

Oreshkin said on Tuesday that the exchange rate of a currently undervalued ruble would return to equilibrium once the overhang of foreign exchange that export companies are holding back disappears from the market.

"We have a large volume of FX liquidity currently entering the country via export channels, but the companies are not hurrying to convert them into rubles, so FX assets are accumulating. This creates an FX overhang on the FX market, which will of course return the national currency to equilibrium. Right now the ruble is located below its equilibrium level. Based on our estimates, substantially lower," Oreshkin said.

"This FX overhang is what constitutes the bulk of our capital outflow. It's what flows in via exports and builds up on the FX accounts of companies and banks," he said.

Oreshkin said on Wednesday that there was no need to remove this "overhang" via a directive. I believe that there are no such requirements right now. In principle, the market is functioning normally. Yes, there's elevated capital outflow, volatility is elevated - these are typical characteristics of a floating exchange rate. We see this with other currencies, so there are no requirements here," he said.