• ACI Russia

08/21/1998 10:05:31 Russia MICEX says to discuss currency futures

MOSCOW, Aug 21 (Reuters) - The Moscow Interbank Currency

Exchange (MICEX) council said it would discuss on Friday terms

for resuming rouble/dollar currency futures operations, a MICEX

spokesman said.

"A decision on how to solve the situation, setting up trade

parameters, fulfilment of payments on previous deals -- they

will be discussed," MICEX spokesman Vadim Yegorov told Reuters.

He said the council would discuss the possibility of

imposing a force majeure on deals struck on Monday.

On Monday morning, the government announced a de facto

rouble devaluation, a planned restructuring of domestic debt and

imposed a 90-day repayment moratorium on repayment of some

foreign debts.

Futures trading on MICEX on Monday started at 1130 a.m.

(0730 GMT), 45 minutes later than usual, and lasted about an

hour, Yegorov said.

MICEX decided to start trading because it did not have a

full text of the official government and central bank

announcement of the new policy.

"The situation was not quite clear," Yegorov said.

Yegorov declined to name the volume of futures contracts

struck on Monday.

MICEX suspended futures trading and froze all contracts as

of Monday's close.

On Friday the council will also discuss what guarantees will

need to be provided for the right to work at the exchange. The

guarantees previously consisted of roubles and treasury bills in

equal proportions. T-bills stopped trading on Monday.

A MICEX official has said the exchange was considering

accepting only roubles as security. The rouble fell to 7.0050 to

the dollar on Friday from 6.3100 last Friday.

The futures market is mainly used by foreigners to hedge

their investment in domestic government securities.

((Julie Tolkacheva, Moscow Newsroom, +7095 941-8520


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