Nevertheless, it is a bit early to talk about welfare in the banking sector. Only in March, eight licenses were withdrawn from the banks, and all in all, since the beginning of the crisis, dozens of credit organizations were deprived of licenses. Moreover, the debt in arrears is still growing: according to different estimates, it amounts from 8 to 10 per cent4. It should be noted, that the world crisis level is considered as 10 per cent. In this regard, RUR 550 bln will be allocated from the budget to support the banking sector. In addition, the Bank of Russia has prepared the proposals on the public capital investment in the first category banks.
1 Basic index of consumer prices is an indicator of the inflation level without regard to seasonal price reduction (fruit and vegetable products) and to administrative measures (tariffs for government-regulated services, etc.). It is estimated by the RF Statistics Service.
2 The RF monetary base in broad terms with no regard to the cash issued by the Bank of Russia and the balance of Compulsory Reserve Accounts on credit organizations in national currency, deposited in the Bank of Russia, taking into account the assets of correspondent accounts and bank deposits, allocated in the Bank of Russia.
3 The excessive reserves of commercial banks with the RF CB refers is the amount of correspondent accounts of commercial banks, their deposits with the RF CB and the CB bonds of commercial banks.
4 According to the former first Vice-Chairman of CB S. Alexashenko, the level of arrears varies between 8-8,5 per cent, and by the Minister of Finance A. Kudrin and head of the Savings Bank of G. Gref, it exceeded 10 per cent. And Standard & Poor’s believes that now it is around 15 per cent.
Jul Jul Jul Jul Jul Jul Jul Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Jan Jan Jan Jan Jan Jan Jan Okt Jan Oct Oct Oct Oct Oct Oct RUSSIAN ECONOMY: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES 580 The reduction of the volume of cash in circulation 4350 in March by 1.1 per cent and mandatory reserves 4050 growth by 6.7 per cent has led to the decline of the 3750 3650 monetary base in narrow definition (cash+ manda3450 tory reserves)1 by 1 per cent (see Fig. 2). Herewith, the volume of the Central Bank foreign currency reMonetary Base (billion rubles) Gold and Foreign Currency Reserves (billion dollars) serves has been practically Source: RF Central Bank unchanged, having made as of April 1, 2009 USD Fig. 2 Changes in the Monetary Base and in the Gold and Foreign Currency 383.9 bln, what is three Reserves in 2007–times less that in the preceding quarter.
In March, the decrease of the volume of cash in circulation by 1.1 per cent and increase of required reserves by 6.7 per cent had led to reduction of monetary base in narrow definition (cash plus the required reserves) by 1 per cent (see Fig. 2). Herewith, the volume of international reserves of the Central Bank of Russia in March, remained almost unchanged, amounting to USD 383.9 bln on April 1, 2009. In general, within the I-st quarter gold reserves decreased by 10.1 per cent, which is three times lower than within the previous quarter.
According to the Central Bank of Russia, in the I-st quarter 2009, net outflow of capital amounted to USD 38.8 bln. The net capital outflow from Russia in March 2009, was slightly higher, than the relevant indicator of February (which according to A.Ulyukaev,Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia, was equal to USD 4.5 bln), what was probably based the schedule of payments under international bank loans. Nevertheless, the volume of exported capital within February-March was many-fold less, than the January indicator ( USD 29 bln). As per the Central Bank of Russia estimates, in the forthcoming months, the net outflow of capital will vary virtually around zero, but by the end of the year it will amount to USD 70 bln.
In March the growth of RUR real effective exchange rate made 3.3per cent. The index of real effective exchange rate amounted to 115.32 (see Fig. 3). In general, for the I-st quarter of 2009, RUR real effective exchange rate of to foreign currencies has declined by 11.9 per cent.
As of March results, the official rates of USD and Euro against RUR have declined. The USD rate has declined from RUR 35.7 to RUR 34.01, or by 4.7 per cent. The rate of Euro by the end of March declined from RUR 45.35 to RUR 44.94, or by 0.9 per cent. As a result, within the preceding month, in regard to the two-currency basket RUR has increased by RUR 1,13, while the value of the two-currency basket3 has declined to RUR 38.93. For the 1 We would like to remind, that the monetary base in the broad definition is not a monetary instrument, it reflects the obligations of the Bank of Russia in national currency. The monetary base in narrow definition is a monetary instrument (one of indicators of the volume of monetary offer), which is under total control of the CBR.
2 The level of 2002 is taken for 100.
3 Two-currency basket is the RF Central Bank operational indicator in its foreign currency policy.
Currently the share of EURO in the currency basket makes 45 per cent, USD – 55 per cent.
billion rubles billion dollars 1-7.03.1-7.11.4-10.08.8-14.09.5-11.04.6-12.12.13-19.10.17-23.11.22-28.12.10-16.05.14-20.06.19-25.07.23-29.08.10-16.01.14-20.02.21-27.03.26.01-1.02.27.09-3.10.INFLATION AND MONETARY POLICY 50 second consecutive month, in the framework of foreign exchange intervention, the Bank of Russia has car35 ried out net purchases in the amount of USD 3.6 bln and Euro 189.9 mln.
According to the RF Cen20 tral Bank, as of April 1, 2009, the aggregate external debt of Russian banks Official USD/RUR exchange rate (end of period) and companies amounted Official EUR/RUR exchange rate (end of period) to USD 423 bln (See fig.
Value of the two-currency basket 4). Within the I-st quarter Real effective exchange rate index (right scale) of 2009, the corporate debt has declined by USD Source: RF Central Bank, author’s estimates 29 bln, or by 6.4 per cent.
Fig. 3 Indicators of Ruble’s Exchange Rate Dynamics In particular, within this period the debt of banks has decreased by 11.2 per cent and amounted to USD 147.5 bln, and loans of companies declined by 3.6 per cent, amounting to USD 275.5 bln. In the I-st quarter of the current year, the rate of banking and corporate loans redemption has declined by more than 1.5-fold, as compared with the preceding quarter, which is, nevertheless, consistent with the schedule of external debt payments.
On April 23, 2009 the Bank of Russia has published an updated schedule for the forthcoming payments of external debt (See Table 1.). It allows to assess the scope of corporate debt restructuring. Restructuring primarily has affected the amount of debt: in 2009 the total external debt (both, public and business) increased from USD 117.1 bln to USD 128 bln. In view of restructuring, the major payments of the banks’ external debt in 2009 will be made in the IV quarter of 2009, while non-financial sector repayments are deferred for the period after 2010. It should be noted, that interest rates on external debt have been insignificantly changed as a result of restructuring.
Table SCHEDULE FOR THE RF EXTERNAL DEBT REDEMPTION AS OF JANUARY 1, 2009 (USD BLN) Non2009 Over scheduled years debt Q I Q II Q III Q IV Q I Q II Q III Q IV Banks: 16.5 13 15.4 15.4 6 9.5 4.8 6.9 88.1 26.Basic debt 14.3 11 13.6 13.8 4.5 8.1 3.5 5.7 65.1 26.Interest 2.2 2 1.8 1.6 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.2 23 Others: 24.3 19.7 17 25.3 13.5 14.3 13.5 18.1 203.5 6.Basic debt 20.4 16 13.6 21.6 10.4 11.4 10.9 15.4 159.9 6.Interest 3.9 3.7 3.4 3.7 3.1 2.9 2.6 2.7 43.6 Total: 40.8 32.7 32.4 40.7 19.5 23.8 18.3 25 291.6 32. Source: RF Central Bank, authors’ estimates On March 27, 2009 the Bank of Russia has informed of a modification in the estimates of mandatory reserves for banks. According to this decision, participation of state of public corporations in the authorized capitals of legal entities will not be regarded as a basis for RUR Jul Jul Jul Jul Apr Apr Apr Apr Jan Jan Jan Jan Okt Jan Oct Oct Oct RUSSIAN ECONOMY: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES uniting those entities in a group of borrowers for the purpose to estimate the maximum risk per one borrower or a group of related borrowers (H6). As a result, in particular, such major banks as «Globex», Svyaz-Bank, Russian Bank for Development (RosBR) and Roseximbank, the shareholders of which is the Development Bank Public Corporation, will not be regarded as a group of related borrowers. This decision of the Bank of Russia is aimed at mitigation of regulation terms in the financial crisis situation, when implementation of the standard credit risk terms becomes rather difficult for the banks.
Moreover, the RF Central Bank has established the risk factor of 50 per cent for the credit requirements to JSCs, meeting the criteria of natural monopolies and included in Section 2 of the of List of Strategic Enterprises, providing that the securities of the companies are included in the Lombard List. This amendment will be beneficial, especially for the largest banks, such as Sberbank and VTB Bank, which are the most active creditors of the strategic enterprises. The growing overdue debt of those banks, and therefore, the need to make greater contributions to the reserves, results in the reduced capital. Amendment in the method of the standard assessment will reduce risks and improve the capital of the banks.
On April 10, 2009 the Board of Directors of the Bank of Russia has decided to increase temporarily credit limits on unsecured credits. This decision is applied to credit institutions related to the Categories 1-3, which corresponds to the International long-term credit rated no lower than B-on the classification of S&P and Fitch rating agencies and no lower than Baccording Moody classification. By the end of March, approximately 126 credit institutions were consistent with that criterion. To meet the requirements of the RF Central Bank, the banks should also submit for approval of the owners the issue of reorganization in the form of a merger or acquisition and to report to the Bank of Russia. Finally, those credit organizations should have contracts, in which the lenders stipulate their demands for early execution in case of the events, provided by the restructuring. This measure is aimed at supporting the reorganization and consolidation of the Russian banking sector. The need for such a decision was prompted by growing arrears on loans.
This is not the first step in the RF Central Bank policy for stimulating the processes of mergers and acquisitions of credit institutions. For example, in February there were adopted amendments to the Federal Law, which required banks to increase the authorized capital, bringing it up to RUR 180 mln. In addition, in February, the RF Central Bank has reduced the time frames for the documents turnover on registration of a new credit organization as a result of a merger, as well as has significantly reduced the list of documents, required for registration. Raising of the minimum capital from RUR 90 mln in 2010 up to RUR mln in 2012 also demonstrates the inevitability of banking consolidation.
On April 17, 2009, the RF Central Bank has informed of the amendment to the direct REPO transactions procedure. According to this decision, since May 1, 2009, the operations of direct REPO transactions at a fixed rate for a period of one week are suspended. In addition, since the same day, when setting up a clipping rate at the opening of direct REPO auction for a period of 1 day, applications, filed at the rate exceeding or equal to the fixed REPO rate (which currently makes 12 per cent) will not be included in the limit amount of this auction. Herewith, the applications mentioned above will be covered in full.
Therefore, the volume of liquidity, provided to the banking system will be getting further reduced. In the context of a satisfactory situation with liquidity in the banking market, as well as to avoid inflation, the measure seems to be justified.
On April 23, 2009 the Bank of Russia decided to reduce the refinancing rate by 0.5 percentage points to 12,5 per cent per annum. This is the first decrease in the refinancing rate after a series of upgrades, that began on February 4, 2008, when it was raised for the first INFLATION AND MONETARY POLICY time within nearly 10 years. In addition, from April 24, the RF Central Bank has reduced interest rates for credit and deposit operations.
Due to the fact, that the refinancing rate is the base interest rate for all credit operations of the Central Bank, the amendment resulted in relevant decrease in other interest rates of the RF Central Bank (see Table. 2).
Table RF CENTRAL BANK INNTEREST RATE FOR CREDIT OPERATIONS Interest rate (% per annum) Credit type Before amendment After amendment Overnight 13 12,Credit, secured by assets or 12 - up to 90 calendar days; 11,5 - up to 90 calendar days warranty 12,5 - from 91 to 180 calendar days 12 - from 91 to 180 calendar days Source: RF Central Bank In addition, the interest rate for overnight transactions of «foreign currency swap» (its ruble part) was reduced by 0.5 percentage points to 12.5 per cent per annum, while the rates on direct REPO operations for a period of 1 day and for a period of 7 days were also reduced by 0.5 percentage points to 11.5 per cent per annum. RF CB has also reduced the rate by 0,5 percentage points on deposits: deposits, made under standard conditions of «tom next», «spot next» and «on demand» - up to 7.25 per cent per annum, «one-week » and «spot-week» rates were reduced to 7.75 per cent per annum. Fixed rates on lombard credits for any term have been reduced from 12 per cent to 11.5 per cent per annum.
Herewith, the Bank of Russia has lowered the rates on liquidity, provided through the auctions:
• Operations of direct REPO:
o for a period of 1 day - from 10 per cent to 9.5 per cent per annum;
o for a period of 7 days - from 10,5 per cent to 10 per cent per annum;
o for a period of 90 days - from 11,5 per cent to 11 per cent per annum;
o for 6 months - from 12.25 per cent to 11.75 per cent per annum;
o for a period of 12 months - from 12.75 per cent to 12.25 per cent per annum;
• Lombard credits:
o for a period of 14 calendar days - from 10,5 per cent to 10 per cent per annum;
o for a period of 3 months - from 11.5 per cent to 11 per cents per annum;
o for 6 months - from 12.25 per cent to 11.75 per cent per annum;
o for a period of 12 months - from 12.75 per cent to 12.25 per cent per annum.
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