MOSCOW, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Russia’s finance ministry said on Monday it plans to buy no more than 10 billion roubles ($311 million) in foreign currency in November-December to top up its budget Reserve Fund.
“We have everything ready, right now we don’t know how much we could buy,” Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said, adding the purchases are set to take place in November-December.
“If the situation changes, we will alter the amount, but now no more than 10 billion roubles by the end of the year,”
The Finance Ministry is shifting the way it handles oil export revenues - a key part of its revenue base.
In the past, revenues would be converted in off-market operations and deposited in the ministry’s budget Reserve Fund and the National Welfare Fund, which are together worth 5.4 trillion roubles ($170 billion) and held at the central bank.
Starting from later this year these revenues will be transferred directly to the central bank, obviating the need for the central bank to conduct market operations to mob up rouble liquidity.
Earlier, the finance ministry said it plans to buy foreign exchange worth 10 to 30 billion roubles on the market by the end of this year.
The ministry’s plans could be changed based on the amount of tax revenues it receives from investment loans, Moiseev said.
“Right now we don’t know what the payments will be,” Moiseev said.
The Finance Ministry’s entrance onto the foreign exchange market does not take away the central bank’s right to intervene when it deems necessary to smooth out the rouble’s excessive volatility. ($1 = 32.1765 Russian roubles) (Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva; Writing by Lidia Kelly; editing by Ron Askew)