SKB-Bank says drop in dollar rate not to affect demand for foreign currency in Russia

Stock market experts believe a recent drop in the dollar rate is not likely to affect either the Russian citizens’ well being or the Russian banks’ performance.

‘Even though the U.S. dollar rate went down from 25.4 RUR to 25.18 RUR per dollar within a week, we don’t believe people will start frantically get rid of their dollars,’ SKB-Bank’s Dealing Director Anton Khavin says.

‘The dollar rate started decreasing as early as the beginning of summer when it went past the psychologically significant point of a digit changing 25 RUR per U.S. dollar, and this trend just keeps developing. It looks like Russians have been trying to sell more dollars lately, but no signs panic of any sort can be traced,’ he observes.

‘As a matter of fact, all those who actually wanted to do away with their dollar savings have done so already; according to experts’ estimates, Russian people have only about $10bn on their hands at the moment, which means an average adult Russian owns about one hundred dollars,’ Mr. Khavin maintains.

‘In this country, the U.S. dollar lost its value as a reliable way of saving up long time ago. The instability of global currencies’ exchange rates has led to people largely switching to ruble investments. Then, the government had a part to play in this, too, as it made it illegal to give prices in any currency other than Russian, whereupon dollars were no longer used to pay for things like cars and apartments.’

‘So, a drop in the dollar rate is not going to affect the supply and demand ratio in terms of foreign cash in Russian banks,’ Mr. Khavin claims.

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