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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to one of the worst economic crises in modern Russian history. The Russian service of the BBC talks about the main economic events of the day.
The imperturbable ruble conquers the peaks
The ruble was not embarrassed by yesterday’s decision by the Russian authorities to relax the requirements for the mandatory sale of foreign exchange earnings – now exporters will sell 50% of their earnings, not 80%. Economists spoke of these sales as one of the main factors for the strengthening of the ruble.
However, the ruble on Tuesday did not react to these decisions and continued to strengthen. By Tuesday evening, the dollar lost 1.2 rubles and fell to 56.7 rubles. The euro fell by 1.4 rubles to 58.7 rubles.
“The ruble continues to conquer multi-year peaks against the dual-currency basket,” – this is how BCS analysts describe the situation. They explain everything quite simply: now is the period of tax payments – and exporters are forced to sell the currency.
The BCS also notes another factor – the currency is being sold as part of a new gas supply scheme to “unfriendly countries”, which the Russian media call “gas for rubles”, although in fact it is not.
The BCS expects that the ruble will start to depreciate on Friday – just when the period of tax payments ends. Raiffeisenbank also expects that the decision will still affect the ruble, but the bank does not write about the terms.
Raiffeisenbank recalls another important factor – the shock from imports. Against the background of the war, sanctions and the withdrawal of Western companies, Russian companies stopped importing foreign goods into the country. It is difficult to assess this decline, since the Russian authorities have stopped publishing customs statistics.
Raiffeisenbank believes that the building of new supply chains will happen no earlier than in 3-6 months.
External management for foreign companies
The State Duma adopted in the first reading a bill on external management for foreign companies that left Russia. This bill was introduced in early April.
The bill assumes that external administration can be introduced only by a court decision in relation to companies that are “essential for ensuring the stability of the economy and civil circulation” for up to 18 months. Foreign owners will then have the opportunity to return or sell their business.
So far, foreign owners generally prefer not to wait for the introduction of a temporary administration, but leave Russia, selling the business or spinning it off into another legal entity. For example, on Tuesday it became known that the audit company Deloitte will continue to work in the country, but under a different name – Business Solutions and Technologies.
The government is also going to give shopping centers the right to terminate lease agreements with companies from “unfriendly countries” ahead of schedule, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on Tuesday.
Russian cars without ABS
The first model to be released by the retired AvtoVAZ will be the Lada Granta, but in a simplified configuration, Vedomosti writes. Car dealers interviewed by the newspaper expect such cars to arrive in the second half of June.
Car dealers expect that the simplified version assumes the absence of ABS (a system that prevents the wheels from locking during braking), airbags, power windows and the ERA-GLONASS panic button. A “richer” version is also possible, the newspaper writes: with electric lifts and electric power steering.
Russian ships stuck at sea
Russian Urals oil is so unpopular with buyers that tankers with about 62 million barrels are stuck at sea – a record, Reuters writes, citing data from the analytical company Vortexa.
Many buyers are turning away from Russian oil for fear of potential sanctions. The media wrote that India and China are ready to buy Russian oil only at a discount.
Russians close accounts again
Russians registered on the Coinbase crypto exchange began to receive notifications about the closure of accounts, writes RBC. According to the publication, the exchange explained to customers that this was due to compliance with the requirements of the Financial Crime Enforcement Agency FinCEN.
The sanctions oblige crypto exchanges to close customer accounts if their balance exceeds $10,000. Clients and other exchanges warned about the blocking of such accounts. However, RBC writes that Coinbase has notified those who have less money on them about the closure of accounts.
Cryptocurrency is used as a way to withdraw money from Russia or, on the contrary, send money to Russia by many Russians who have left the country. The possibilities for doing so are thus reduced.
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