The Russian ruble rose to a two-week high on Tuesday (23 Dec 2014) after the government and the Central Bank put pressure on large state-owned exporters to sell dollars to stop further steep losses for the local currency.
In mid-December, the ruble plunged to its lowest level since the financial crisis of 998 on the back of lower oil prices and Western sanctions, which make it almost impossible for Russian firms to borrow from the West.
The ruble fell to as low as 80 per dollar this month, from the average of 30-35 seen in the first half of the year, but has recovered since to trade as high as 53 to the dollar on Tuesday.
Citing unnamed sources, Kommersant newspaper said that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev had signed an order obliging the country’s largest state exporters to sell part of their foreign currency revenues.
The paper said that in the next two months, companies may provide the market with about $1 billion per day in total dollar sales.
The Central Bank said in a statement it was conducting consultations with large exporters with the aim of stabilizing the currency market.