UPDATE3: Russia demands exporters swap part of revenue for rubles
(Adds detail in paragraphs 6, 7)
MOSCOW, Dec 23 (PRIME) -- The Russian government has sent an order to the largest countryТs exporters Gazprom, Rosneft, ALROSA, Zarubezhneft and Kristall diamond cutter to exchange part of their revenue into rubles and have their net foreign currency assets at a level equaling October 1 volumes by March 1, according to a statement published Tuesday.
The government has also ordered the companies to report their net foreign currency asset amount to the central bank weekly.
The central bank will hold consultations with exporters to discuss their revenue exchange into rubles and believes that even sales of foreign currency will hedge their risks against ruble fluctuations, a spokesman for the central bank told PRIME on Tuesday.
УThe central bank plans to hold consultations with exporters to elaborate the best action plan,Ф the spokesman said.
УBalanced sales of foreign currency-denominated revenue throughout the year are good from the point of view of foreign currency market stability support and from the point of view of foreign currency volatility risk hedging by exporters themselves.Ф
The central bank will coordinate the fulfillment of the governmentТs order and has prepared necessary documents, which are to be approved by the government, the regulator said.
The regulator has developed a mechanism to calculate net foreign currency assets of exporters and an order of information disclosure of the volume of these assets. After the documents are approved by the government, the regulator will start coordinating the fulfillment of the order, it said.
ALROSA and Kristall told PRIME they see no reason for concern and are ready to comply with the order. ALROSA operates according to a decision of its shareholders, a representative for the company said, while KristallТs representative said the company has scheduled a meeting of its board of directors to discuss the issue on Saturday, but it sees no reason to worry about it.
Kommersant business daily reported earlier on Tuesday that the government will order the largest exporters to swap their revenues into rubles to ensure a source of sustainable supply of about U.S. $1 billion of foreign currency to the domestic market amid sanctions.
On Monday, newspaper Vedomosti reported that President Vladimir Putin proposed exporters to notify the central bank on their decision to exchange revenue into rubles. The proposal does not mean that the central bank will have the right to control companiesТ foreign currency plans, a high-ranking federal government official told the newspaper.