18 Nov 2009 13:42

Central Bank purchased $6 bln on currency market in Nov 1-17

MOSCOW. Nov 18 (Interfax) - The Central Bank of Russia purchased approximately $6 billion on the domestic currency market in the first 17 days of November, the head of the bank said.

"The Central Bank purchased roughly $16 billion on the domestic currency market in October and purchased another $6 billion in the first 17 days of November," Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev said in the State Duma on Wednesday.

"The Central Bank of Russia conducts currency interventions to smooth substantial fluctuations in the ruble exchange rate," he said.

The effective ruble rate declined by approximately 3% in real terms in the first 10 months of the year, he said.

Ignatyev added that the value of the bi-currency basket in February almost reached 41 rubles but later began to drop, reaching 36.5 rubles at the start of June. During the summer as the media discussed the possibility of further ruble devaluation, the bi-currency basket went up to 38 rubles. However, starting in September, its value began to drop reaching 35.07 rubles.

"The ruble's gains are happening under the influence of the high-level stabilization of world oil prices, as well as the inflow of private capital," he said.