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Ruble Pares Gains on RIA Report Russia to Set Interest Rates

Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- The ruble trimmed gains against the dollar in after-hours trading following a RIA Novosti report that lawmakers of the ruling United Russia party submitted a bill to let the government determine interest rates and the composition of the currency basket instead of the central bank.

The Russian currency appreciated 0.7 percent versus the dollar to 31.8025 by 10:51 p.m. in Moscow. The ruble had risen 1.1 percent against the dollar to 31.7159 by the 7 p.m. close of trading, the biggest advance in two weeks.

“It is strictly the prerogative of the central bank to determine interest rates and any moves to take this away from the central bank and put it into the hands of the government would be a massive step back from all the good things that have happened with monetary policy,” Ivan Tchakarov, chief economist at Renaissance Capital in Moscow, said by e-mail.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ksenia Galouchko in Moscow at kgalouchko1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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