GOLD is the money of the KINGS, SILVER is the money of the GENTLEMEN, BARTER is the money of the PEASANTS, but DEBT is the money of the SLAVES!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Russian Ruble : From Worst Performing Currency to The Best

Russian price inflation rose to 16.9 percent in March, its highest level since 2002, as the country adapts to a sharply weakened ruble and the impact of politically motivated food import bans.

But despite the new high in the year-on-year rate, price growth is slowing, data published by the Rosstat state statistics service on Monday showed. Prices rose 1.2 percent in March, following increases of 2.2 percent in February, 3.9 percent in January and 2.6 percent in December, Rosstat said.

Inflation surged after Moscow imposed bans on imports of food from the United States, the European Union and a number of other countries in August in response to sanctions over Russia's actions in Ukraine. A near 40 percent fall in the value of the ruble against the U.S. dollar since last summer has also raised the cost of imports.

Russia’s ruble may no longer be the worst emerging market currency around, but that hasn’t improved business sentiment among wealthy Russians. They’re still shopping abroad for deals.

“Rich Russians are all worried because they don’t see how the country is going to lift itself from this crisis and don’t know what policies the government will enact to get them there,” says Marlen Kruzhkov, an attorney with Gusrae Kaplan in New York focused on financial transactions.

The sharp decline in the Russian ruble against the dollar caused high-end residential rental prices in Moscow to tank some 16 percent last year, while prime rents in Singapore and China also slipped.

Rent in the Russian capital is measured in U.S. dollars, and weakness in letting prices is directly linked to the ruble's fall, according to property consultancy Knight Frank. The ruble fell 68 percent against the dollar in 2014.

The fall in Moscow rent dragged on Knight Frank's global prime rental index The ruble's sharp decline is exacting a toll on Southeast Asian tourism as Russians think twice about doubling their budgets for their next beach holiday in Vietnam, Thailand or Cambodia.

The rouble fell 43 percent last year against the dollar, hurt by plunging oil prices and Western sanctions imposed over Moscow's role in the Ukraine political crisis. A Russian tourist now needs to fork out as much as 140,000 rubles ($2,479) for a trip to Vietnam, including plane tickets and accommodation, up from 60,000 rubles last year, a state-run Vietnamese newspaper estimated. For those who do make it to Vietnam, they are buying instant noodles instead of eating out, local media reported.

Sberbank analysts said the ruble's recent rise was probably aided by households converting foreign currency into rubles, reversing their $30 billion purchases of other currencies last year.

"At the moment the ruble's [upward] correction looks overzealous as it exceeds the relative correction in oil and the U.S. dollar," they wrote. "At current oil prices we expect USD/RUB to hover comfortably around 56-57." While the west huffs and puffs, and threatens to unleash even more “costs” on Russia in the form of additional sanctions which will assure that Europe’s latest deflationary recession is even more acute, an “isolated” Russia is looking to outside, and to the east, and as part of its most recent de-dollarization initiative, the Moscow Exchange announced it has started trading Chinese Renminbi-Russian Ruble currency futures.

The “perfect-storm” of geopolitical instability, diplomatic isolation, severe currency depreciation, and economic decline now confronting Russia has profoundly damaged Moscow’s international standing, and possibly for the long-term.

Yet, it is precisely such conditions that may push the country’s leadership into taking the radical step that will secure its world-player status once and for all: the adoption of a gold-exchange standard. Though a far-fetched idea at first glance, many factors suggest that re monetization in gold may be a logical next step for Moscow.

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