• ACI Russia

08/21/1998 08:25:20 Russia c.bank chief sees more predictable rouble

MOSCOW, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Russian central bank chief Sergei

Dubinin said on Friday that floating the rouble and expanding

its band against the dollar should make the currency's movements

more predictable and had already cut the cost of supporting it.

Dubinin, speaking to members of the State Duma, parliament's

lower house, said a series of crisis steps by the central bank

and government on Monday, marked a big change to rouble policy.

"This allows us to expect a switch from jumps in exchange

rate changes to try to move to a smooth change, to return maybe

to exchange rate movements that will be quicker but more

predictable," he said. "This is our next task."

The monetary measures included allowing the rouble to float

freely and expanding its corridor against the dollar to 6.0/9.5

to the dollar to the end of the year from 5.27/7.13.

"This will allow us to conserve the country's gold and

foreign currency reserves, our interventions (in the market)

have fallen sharply over the last few days," Dubinin said.

"If we talk about the size of our daily interventions then

they are three times smaller than they were in the previous two

weeks on a daily basis," he said.

((Anna Smirnova, Moscow Newsroom, +7095 941-8520


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