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Ruble Drops Against Basket as Russia Sells 50% of Bond Offering

Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) -- The ruble declined against the central bank’s target basket and yields on long-term Russian government bonds remained near a three-month high after the Finance Ministry sold 50 percent of a debt offering.

The Russian currency fell 0.1 percent to 34.8621 against the central bank’s basket of dollars and euros by 7 p.m. in Moscow. The ruble gained 0.1 percent against the dollar to 30.6085, paring its decline to the greenback this month to 1.9 percent. The yield on benchmark OFZ bonds due in February 2027 fell one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 7.23 percent, four basis points below this year’s highest level.

The Finance Ministry sold 12.2 billion rubles in five-year OFZ bonds from an auction target today of 26.4 billion rubles of the securities at an average yield of 6.20 percent, the top end of guidance. The government shelved a planned sale of 15-year bonds, citing an analysis of market conditions.

The ruble’s decline against the dollar this month has made assets in the Russian currency less attractive to foreigners, while the start to operations with Russian government debt by Euroclear Bank SA hasn’t led to an influx of money, according to Moscow-based brokerage Aton Capital.

“The launch of Euroclear settlements has so far resulted in profit taking by foreign investors who bought ruble bonds earlier, rather than new fund inflows,” Anna Bogdyukevich, a fixed-income analyst at Aton, said in a note to clients.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vladimir Kuznetsov in Moscow at vkuznetsov2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at wmoskwa@bloomberg.net

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