The Russian Regime appears to be very concerned with the potential impact that a further weakening of the ruble would have and have been warning about it. There have been several articles (some of which I have highlighted here already) mostly pointing to the fact that Rosneft’s lack of ready cash could cause major problems for the Russian currency come December.
According to Russia’s Central Bank Russian companies have $21.6 billion in external debt due by the end of the year, and another $15.2 billion due by the end of the first quarter of 2017. This does not include banks or other financial institutions.
As for the banks, Raiffeisenbank analysts predict a further outflow of capital.
“Since the beginning of the year, foreign currency in corporate accounts decreased by $20.5 billion or 14%.”
That is, every 7th dollar has left.
“Foreign exchange reserves of the banking system, the reserves on the accounts in foreign banks – remained at its lowest level in 5 years and reached $20.4 billion, down by 20% from the beginning of the year.”
The columnist Sergei Shelin wrote earlier this week that a drop in the price of oil could hurt the ruble too. But, he says, the main thing is that people panic. There are three things that could happen with the ruble:
“A more or less marked weakening of the ruble in the coming months is quite possible, although not guaranteed.”
The rising price of oil may prevent this, however. But Shelin writes, “I do not believe this is very likely.”
Second, if the ruble is again weakened, he says, “it is unlikely to be on the same scale as two years ago or even one year ago.”
And third, Shelin does not rule out “a powerful devaluation” but for this to happen, there would have to be external shocks, “such as the collapse of the global energy market, or some major adventures on the domestic and external fronts.”