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Ruble to Drop in 2012 on Intervention, Renaissance Capital Says

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- The ruble will weaken against the dollar this year as the central bank acts to subdue gains in the currency and protect exporters, according to Renaissance Capital.

“There aren’t a lot of reasons why I would be bullish on the ruble,” Ivan Tchakarov, chief economist for Russia and the former Soviet Union at Moscow-based Renaissance, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York yesterday. “We’ve reached levels where the central bank has started intervening.”

Tchakarov predicts that the ruble will weaken to 30.3 per dollar by the end of 2012. The currency strengthened 0.6 percent to 29.9 per dollar in Moscow yesterday.

Bank Rossii manages the ruble against a basket of dollars and euros to limit swings that erode the competitiveness of exporters.

The central bank has made “huge progress” in moving from monetary policy focused on controlling the exchange rate to targeting inflation, Tchakarov said. “Russians have become more adjusted to more volatile ruble movements.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Zachary Tracer in New York at ztracer1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emma O’Brien at eobrien6@bloomberg.net

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