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According to A.Ulyukaev2, First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank, in 2010 the concept of inflation targeting will be modified. It means that the Central Bank will not assume the liability not to intervene in the domestic foreign exchange market. The main objective of foreign exchange interventions, as in the last few months of the past year, 50 will be the smoothing of the ruble exchange rate volatility, which is sensitive to the dynamics of capital inflows and outflows. A.Ulyukayev noted that the task of the 20 Central Bank will reduce exchange rate fluctuations of RUR versus USD and bringOfficial USD/RUR exchange rate (end of period) ing them closer to the other Official EUR/RUR exchange rate (end of period) pairs of major currencies in Value of the two-currency basket the international market.

Real effective exchange rate index of ruble (right-hand scale) Since December 28, 2009, the Bank of Russia decided to reduce the refinancing Source: RF Central Bank, authors estimates.

rate and other key interest Fig. 3. Indicators of RUR exchange rate within January 2005 December 20093.

rates on the Central Bank 1 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 2 From the speech of A. Ulyukaev, Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of Russia at the conference Russia and the World: Challenges of the New Decade.

3 The level of January 2002 is accepted as 100 per cent.

billion rubles billion dollars 1-7.03.1-7.11.4-10.08.8-14.09.5-11.04.6-12.12.13-19.10.17-23.11.22-28.12.10-16.05.14-20.06.19-25.07.23-29.08.10-16.01.14-20.02.21-27.03.25-01.05.30-05.06.04-10.07.08-14.08.12-18.09.17-23.10.21-27.11.26- May Nov May Nov May Nov May Nov May Nov Jul Jul Jul Jul Jul Jan Jan Jan Jan Jan Mar Sep Mar Sep Mar Sep Mar Sep Mar Sep RUSSIAN ECONOMY: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES operations. The refinancing rate was set up at the rate of 8.75 per cent per annum, which is a new historical minimum (see Table. 1).

Table INTEREST RATE UNDER RF CENTRAL BANK CREDIT OPERATIONS Term From 25.11.09 From 28.12.14 days 6.25 3 months 7.75 7.Lombard credits (lowest interest rates) 6 months 8.25 12 months 8.75 8.1 day 6.25 7 days 6.25 Direct Repo through an auction (Stock Ex90 days 7.75 7.change and OTC) (minimum interest rate) 6 months 8.25 12 months 8.75 8.Overnight credits Overnight 9 8. Foreign currency swop (RUR share) 1 day 9 8.1 day 8 7.Lombard credits (under fixed interest rate) 7 days 8 7.30 days 8 7.1 day 8 7.Direct Repo (under fixed interest rate) 7 days 8 7.12 months 8.75 8.Up to 90 days 8 7.From 91 to Credits, secured by assets or warranty (Credit, 8.days 8.secured by assets or warranty) From181 to days 8.tom-next, tom3.75 3.next, on demand Deposit operations (Credit, secured by assets or warranty) Week 1, Spot4.week Source: RF Central Bank.

Therefore, the Bank of Russia for the tenth consecutive time and the last one in 2009. As in previous months, the decision to mitigate the interest policy was possible due to the continuing downward trend in inflation (inflation for two consecutive months, in November and December, remained minimal over the past ten years, and the CPI for the year amounted to 8.8 per cent, which is also a historical minimum). The main objective of this approach is the recovery of the real sector of the economy, and as a result, motivation of economic activity in the country. Furthermore, the reduction of interest rates should help to reduce the attractiveness of the Russian financial market to the inflow of speculative capital. The decision on further mitigation of monetary policy will depend on the dynamics of inflation, as well as on indicators of industrial and credit activity.

According to A. Ulyukaev, First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia, currently the risk of inflation is still lower than the risks of financial instability, so in the first half of 2010 the Central Bank may continue the policy of reducing interest rates. However, in the second half of the year, with the growth of inflationary risks one can expect interest rates growth. Therefore, the Central Bank is planning to move from the phase of the rates reducing to stabilizing thereof.

FINANCIAL MARKET FINACIAL MARKETSN.Burkova, E.Khudko In1 January there was volatile dynamics in the Russian financial market, urged by both external and internal factors. Thus, the situation in the stock market since January 11, was deteriorating due to a decline in global oil prices, the financial performance of major international companies, the negative macroeconomic statistics from the US, which resulted in a decrease in the daily average turnover in the market of corporate securities during the month by 31 per cent. However, the favorable situation with ruble liquidity, strengthening of the RF national currency, and upgrading of the forecast of Russias credit rating by Fitch Ratings international rating agency from negative to stable helped to support the government bond market, where investor activity has increased by 70 per cent. The market volume and the index of corporate bonds has grown again, the effective yield has reduced, the number of issuers and emissions, as well as high levels of trading on the secondary market remain virtually unchanged. Herewith, at the beginning of the year virtually no initial placements were made, and the situation has worsened with the performance of issuers of their obligations to bondholders, which is confirmed by the record number of actual defaults at the beginning of the year.

Government securities market In January a positive situation with ruble liquidity, strengthening of the ruble against the twocurrency basket, lower rates of the RF Central Bank supported the government securities and led to the positive dynamics in the market quotations for ruble and foreign currency government bonds and high trading activity after the holidays. This also contributed to the absence of substantial proposals in the secondary market and the placement of only one OFZ issue in the primary market within the month.

As of January 24, the 5,00% Russian Eurobonds RUS30 yield to maturity has 4,50% decreased as compared with Tranche the level of December 4,00% from 5.37 to 5.32 per cent per annum (by 0.86 per cent), RUS-28 from 6.28 per cent 3,50% to 6.05 per cent per annum (by 1.86 per cent), RUS-18 - 3,00% from 5.19 per cent to 5.03 per cent per annum (by 3.16 per 2,50% cent), RUS-10 from 0.to 0.38 per cent per annum 2,00% (by 24.13 per cent). As of the same date, a similar trend was observed in the yields of external currency debt bonds. Thus, the yield to Source: Finmarket Information Agency data redemption of the seventh Fig. 1. Minfi n bonds yields to maturity in November 2009 January tranche of external currency debt bonds has decreased 1 In the course of preparation of the survey, there were used analytical materials and surveys published by the Interfax, MICEX, RTS, RF Central Bank and the materials presented at web sites of Russian issuing companies. ECONOMY: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES 9,00% from 3.07 to 2.45 per cent RUS-2030 RUS-2010 RUS-2018 RUS-per annum (by 20.33 per 7,50% cent) (see Figs 1-2). Source:

Finmarket Information 6,00% Agency data Within the period from 4,50% December 22. 2009 to 3,00% January 24, 2010 the total turnover of the secondary 1,50% market of government bonds amounted to approximately 0,00% RUR 327.89 billion with an average daily turnover of -1,50% RUR 18.22 billion (about RUR 224.08 billion with an average daily turnover of RUR 10.67 billion in December), what corresponds Source: Finmarket Information Agency data to the growth of an average monthly turnover nearly by Fig. 2. Yields to maturity of the Russian Eurobonds with maturity in 2010, 2018, 70 per cent.

2028 and 2030 in November 2009 January Within December 22 January 24, there was one auction on government bonds additional placement (against four auctions a month before) at the primary government bonds market. Thus, an auction for government bonds additional placement series 25072 for the amount of RUR 45 bln was arranged on January 30.

Actual placement volume was RUR 38.96 bln with an average weighted yield of 7.11 per cent per annum. Therefore, the actual volume of placement for the period under review was RUR 86.58 per cent versus the estimated level of (70 per cent a month earlier), which demonstrates an increased interest of the investors to additional placements in the primary government bonds market within the given period.

As of January 24, the total actual of on government bonds in the secondary market for the period amounted to RUR 1 439,85 bln as per market value (versus RUR 1,469.75 bln and RUR 1,408.bln accordingly as of December 21)..

The duration of the OFZ market portfolio was 1.621,92 days, having increased by 48.63 days as compared with the preceding month (as of December 21).

Stock market Stock market situation With the start of trading in the new year, the stock market has demonstrated a significant decrease caused by the decline in the global commodity prices observed at the end of the first decade of January. The volatility of global financial markets during January, strengthening of the national currency of Russia, reduced Central Bank refinancing rate from December 28 (from 9 to 8.75 per cent), provisiom a loan to Belarus in the amount of RUR 6 billion by the Russian banks, reduction of the annual inflation rate in 2009 by 4.5 percent points up to 8.8 per cent as compared with (according to tentative estimates), RF governments plans to launch in March a program on partial subsidy for buying new vehicles at the expense old cars disposal, reduction of the external Russian debt by 2.1 per cent to RUR 469.7 billion in 2009 (according to preliminary estimates), and modified on January 22 forecast of Russias credit rating from negative to stable by the international rating agency Fitch Ratings and confirmation of long-term Issuer Default ratings (IDR) of Russia at the BBB level, short-term IDR - at F3, and the country ceiling rating - at the level of BBB+, on the one hand, and reduction of international reserves of Russia, revokation of the licenses of a number of banks, the decline in gas exports by 11.2 per cent within 11 months of 2009, the Governments plan to borrow about USD 17 billion abroad, reduction in the trade surplus of Russia more than times as of 2009 results, the allocation of the loan to AVTOVAZ in the amount of RUR 28 billion MARKET 135 by the RF Government and The total v olum e of trading problems with oil supplies 120 (roubles, billion) to Belarus, on the other MIC EX Index 105 hand, contributed to the 90 volatile dynamics of the 75 Russian financial market, where a downward trend 60 was dominating during 45 the month. Thus, while in 30 late December a general 15 downgrading trend in the 0 MICEX index was observed, which was replaced by an upgrading trend since early January (See Fig. 3). The minimum value for the period the MICEX index has Fig. 3. Dynamics of MICEX Index and trading volume reached on December 24 1,351.19 points (against 1,301.33 points in the preceding month). The maximum value the MICEX index has reached on January 19, having reached 1,484.03 points (1,388.59 per cent points in the preceding month).

In general, within the period from December 22 to January 24, the MICEX index has increased by 2.35 per cent, what makes about 32.45 points in absolute terms (within the year, from January 25, 2005 to January 24, 2010, the MICEX index has been upgraded times 2.5). Over the same period, the turnover of trades in shares, included in the MICEX index, made about RUR 724.bln at an average daily turnover of RUR 40.27 bln (against RUR 1,226.3 billion with an average daily turnover of RUR 58.4 billion in the preceding period). Therefore, the investors average daily activity in the stock market in January has declined as compared with the preceding period by per cent. The indicators of maximum and minimum daily turnover in the market trades made, accordingly, RUR 58.13 bln (as of January 22), and RUR 4.32 bln (on January 31).

As of the month results (from December 23 through January 24), the blue chips securities have shown a volatile trend. The leaders in growth were GMK Nornickel, whose shares have grown by 15.02 per cent), Mosenergo (10.12 per cent) and Sberbank of Russia (6.27 per cent). Some lower growth rates were 17,5% noted in securities of VTB 15,0% Bank (2.01 per cent), Change in price (%) Rostelecom (by 1.12 per 12,5% cent), Surgutneftegas (0.10,0% per cent), LUKOIL (0.31 per 7,5% cent) and Tatneft (2.01 per cent).

5,0% At the same time, shares 2,5% of other blue chips have 0,0% demonstrated a downward trend. Thus, Gazprom bank -2,5% shares have decreased -5,0% by 4.25 per cent, followed by Rosneft and Gazprom, declined by 1.84 per cent and 0.55 per cent, respectively (Fig. 4).

In January the MICEX turnover leaders were:

Fig. 4. Dynamics of the Russian Blue Chips from December 22, Sberbank of Russia (28.to January 24, points roubles, billion Tatneft Rosneft Bank VTB Russia Gazprom Mosenergo Rostelecom Sberbank of Gazprom neft GMK Nornikel Surgutneftegas RUSSIAN ECONOMY: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES per cent of the total turnover), Gazprom (20.19 per cent of the total turnover), GMK Nornickel (8.14 per cent), LUKOIL (7 per cent) and VTB Bank (6.62 per cent). The total share of transactions with the shares of the five blue chips was about 70.4 per cent (all blue chips - 77.50 per cent) of the total trades in shares at the MICEX stock market during the period from December 22 to January 24.

According to MICEX information, as of January 24, the top five leaders of the domestic stock market in terms of capitalization were: Gazprom RUR 4,270.70 bln (RUR 4,332.96 bln a month earlier), Rosneft RUR 2,659.29 bln (RUR 2,718.43 bln in preceding month), Sberbank of Russia - RUR 1,882.81 bln (against RUR 1,753.72 bln), LUKOIL - RUR 1,417.12 bln (RUR 1,416.32 bln in preceding month) and Surgutneftegas - RUR 951.35 bln (RUR 971.03 bln).

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