MOSCOW, Dec 31 (Reuters) – Russia will step up its efforts to curb the influx of speculative capital, which can flee the country with the “first rain,” Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said this week, adding the measures will be moderate.
“There will be no revolutions,” Putin said.
Nonetheless, his remarks pushed the rouble considerably down, as investors were easily spooked by hint the government might take steps soon.
The comments have intensified the talk on capital controls, which began earlier this autumn when a new wave of short-term capital entered the Russian forex market, driving the rouble rapidly up.
Here are some possible scenarios:
FULL-SCALE CAPITAL CONTROLS – UNLIKELY
The government has been vague about what measures it is considering, with the Kremlin’s top economic adviser Arkady Dvorkovich saying only that there is no need for a Brazilian-style tax on capital inflows. [ID:nLDE5BD1J4]
Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin and central bank chairman Sergei Ignatyev have reiterated their opposition to “hard” capital controls, which were scrapped in 2006 as Russia moved towards a more open economy and free-floating currency.