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Ruble Posts Second Weekly Decline Against Bank Rossii Basket

March 22 (Bloomberg) -- The ruble extended its second consecutive weekly drop against the central bank’s target currency basket as oil fell in the period amid a deadlock over Cyprus financial turmoil.

The Russian currency retreated less than 0.1 percent against Bank Rossii’s dollar-euro measure to 35.0054 by 7 p.m. in Moscow, leaving the weekly decline at 0.4 percent. The ruble advanced 0.2 percent against dollar to 30.8685.

Brent oil futures fell 1.9 percent this week, as Cypriot lawmakers prepare to a debate ways to unlock bailout funds to avoid a financial collapse. Oil and gas account for about half of Russia’s state budget revenue.

The ruble’s decline is only being held back by “growing volumes of foreign currency revenue sales” as mineral-extraction tax payments come due on March 25, OAO Rosbank analysts led by Vladimir Kolychev said in a note to clients.

Russian companies will have to transfer about 200 billion rubles ($6.5 billion) to the state budget on that day, according to HSBC Holdings Plc estimates.

“Exporters’ peak activity from MET payments falls in the next two trading sessions and will likely mitigate the ruble’s decline,” the analysts said.

The yield on OFZ bonds due February 2027 fell two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 7.40 percent, declining for the third day. The rate fell to a record low of 6.84 percent on Jan. 10.

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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