• ACI Russia

08/13/1998 07:16:49 Russia c.bank says Soros idea wouldn't end crisis

MOSCOW, Aug 13 (Reuters) - International financier George

Soros's proposal to devalue the Russian rouble and peg it to

the dollar or euro would not solve the country's financial

crisis, a senior central bank official said on Thursday.

Deputy central bank chairman Denis Kiselyov told Reuters

that Russia's existing foreign exchange policy -- based on a

broad corridor with a pivotal rate of 6.2 roubles to the dollar

-- would help avoid a banking crisis. Soros made his proposal

in a letter to Thursday's edition of the Financial Times.

"A one-off devaluation of 15-25 percent would not solve a

single one of the problems facing the Russian government,"

Kiselyov said by telephone. "At the same time it could really

destabilise the markets which would, of course, create

additional opportunities for speculative games."

He said there was no long-term crisis in the banking

system. The central bank's assessment was that as long as

Russia stuck to a non-inflationary foreign exchange policy

there were no grounds to fear a banking crisis, he added.

Soros, whose views on currencies often move markets, said

Russia would need 50 billion of reserves to back a currency

board, whereby it would be committed to exchanging roubles for

dollars or euros at a set rate.

Soros said this rate should be 15 to 25 percent below the

current exchange rate, to reflect the global oil price fall.

((Irina Demchenko, Moscow newsroom, 7 095 941 8521,


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