March 20, 2020 / 12:19 PM / in 12 days

HIGHLIGHTS-Quotes from Russian central bank chief's news conference

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MOSCOW, March 20 (Reuters) - The following are highlights from Russian central bank chief Elvira Nabiullina’s news conference following the bank’s interest rate decision:

ON NEXT RATE DECISION

“The question of raising the rate has not be taken off the agenda. The forming of sustainable proinflationary factors cannot be ruled out.”

“We do not actively see the potential for further rate cuts in the medium term. Our assessment of the medium-term situation has shifted to the side that we see disinflationary factors prevailing, but in the short term inflationary factors prevail.”

“When we can reconsider the possibility of a rate cut depends on the development of the situation. Now it would be completely inappropriate to give any timelines.”

ON FINANCIAL STABILITY

“Many measures are being taken to stabilise infrastructure, markets should be open. We are not allowing the closure of markets and exchanges.”

“We have a floating exchange regime, there is no psychological level for us to protect it. Our task is to enable financial stability.”

ON WITHSTANDING SHOCKS

“Topics related to the OPEC+ agreement have been discussed with the central bank. The effect of withdrawing from the agreement was strongly enhanced by the situation on global markets and the spread of coronavirus.”

“We will keep track of the situation, for us the most important thing is the accumulation of financial stability, which will allow us to withstand this situation.”

ON INFLATION

“Inflation could reach its peak in the first quarter of 2021.”

“We do not see a risk of sharp or sustained price increases in general or for certain types of products.”

“On the contrary, disinflationary factors may arise and we see that they are likely to prevail and will be linked, among other things, to a subsequent possible fall in demand.”

ON BANKING SYSTEM

“We do not see the need to revise the list of systemically important credit organisations. We do not see the need for additional capitalisation.”

“We are conducting stress tests and will continue to do so, above all, to understand how the banking system and specific banks will behave in the case of the most risky scenarios.”

ON ECONOMIC GROWTH

“The economic growth rate in the second quarter is likely to be lower than in the first quarter, but the yearly growth rate will likely remain positive.”

“It is not a fact that this year’s results on the whole will be negative. On the contrary, for the year as a whole, we do not for now expect an economic slowdown. We are now going to clarify our forecast.”

ON TODAY’S DECISION

“The central bank’s board of directors operated in an unusual way today, we considered a variety of options.”

“We looked at three options - lowering the rate, raising and leaving unchanged.” (Compiled by Alexander Marrow)

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