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The Central Bank allowed banks to sell cash currency – The Moscow Times in Russian

The Bank of Russia decided to soften the rules for selling foreign currency through brokers and banks, introduced in early March against the backdrop of the collapse of the ruble.

From April 18, banks will again be able to sell cash to individuals, the regulator’s press service announced on Friday. The US and the EU do not supply cash dollars and euros to Russia, so banks are only allowed to sell banknotes received at their cash desks after April 9.

From Monday, April 11, it will be allowed to withdraw not only dollars, but also euros from accounts and deposits opened before March 9. However, the limit will remain – no more than 10 thousand dollars.

“Citizens will still be able to receive funds in excess of the limit from foreign currency accounts in rubles during the validity of the temporary order,” the Central Bank said in a release.

At the same time, the central bank cancels the commission for the sale of currency on the stock exchange, which initially amounted to 30%, and then was reduced to 12%.

From April 11, individuals will be able to buy non-cash currency on the Moscow Exchange at the exchange rate, which at the end of trading on Friday was 76.08 rubles per dollar and 82.7 rubles per euro.

Since March 10, the ruble has won back almost 50 rubles from the dollar and the euro, showing the sharpest growth since August 1998. “Although officially the ruble exchange rate is now floating, it is already close to the 72.1 rubles / $ budgeted for the current year, and its further strengthening in the face of tough sanctions and increased budget spending is hardly good for the budget,” notes Olga Belenkaya, Head of the Department of Macroeconomic Analysis of FG “Finam”.

Therefore, it is logical that the Central Bank began to ease the restrictions. In addition, Belenkaya says, such a ruble exchange rate does not look stable in the medium term, given the expected downturn in the economy.

As of January 1, 2022, the Russians had 74.6 billion dollars of foreign currency in cash – 38% of all savings in the “cash”, which Rosstat estimated at 14.1 trillion rubles.

By the beginning of the war, individuals had saved another $90.6 billion in banks. Of this amount, $8.8 billion was withdrawn from accounts during the panic of the first days of hostilities.

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