The government has reportedly asked Gazprom, Rosneft, Alrosa, Zarubezhneft, Kristall Production Corporation, their subsidiaries to reduce by March 1, 2015, their foreign currency reserves and to adhere a level fixed on October 1. This is to be done pursuant to a schedule set by the Central Bank and shall feed about $1 billion into the market every day. The companies on the list would have to sell nearly all their foreign currency revenues received after October 1. This would amount to approximately $40-$50 billion, most of it to be sold by Gazprom and Rosneft. Earlier Russian President said that the Central Bank and the government wouldn’t require exporters to sell foreign currency. Despite that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev reportedly signed an executive order on December 17, which prescribes the companies to sell foreign currency. Representatives of the five companies have refused to discuss this initiative. The measure comes on the heels of the recent ruble collapse, where the national currency exchange rate dropped 20% overnight after the Central Bank increased the rate to 17,5%. Over the past week the ruble regained some of the lost position. Still it is trading considerably lower. The national currency’s fall is connected with a number of economic sanctions imposed over the Ukrainian situation and the rapid drop in oil prices, which happened after OPEC members decided not to low production to halt the price drop.
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