The Russian central bank boosted its benchmark interest rate to 20 percent from 9.5 percent on Monday in an emergency action, and officials encouraged export-focused enterprises to sell foreign currency as the rouble plunged to historic lows.
“External circumstances for the Russian economy have substantially changed,” the central bank stated in a statement.
“The hike of the key rate will ensure a rise in deposit rates to levels needed to compensate for the heightened depreciation and inflation risks. This is important to ensure financial and price stability and protect citizens’ investments from devaluation.”
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Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina will deliver a briefing at 1300 GMT, the bank reported.
In another move to boost the rouble, the central bank and the finance ministry have jointly instructed Russian exporting enterprises to sell 80 percent of their foreign currency income on the market.
The current initiatives add to a flurry of measures announced since Thursday to strengthen local markets, as the state scrambles to handle the growing effects of Western sanctions imposed in retribution for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.