(Reuters) – The Russian central bank raised its key interest rate to 20% from 9.5% on Monday in an emergency move, and authorities told export-focused companies to sell foreign currency as the rouble tumbled to record lows.
“External conditions for the Russian economy have drastically changed,” the central bank said in a statement.
“The increase of the key rate will ensure a rise in deposit rates to levels needed to compensate for the increased depreciation and inflation risks. This is needed to support financial and price stability and protect citizens’ savings from depreciation.”
Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina will hold a briefing at 1300 GMT, the bank said.
In another attempt to support the rouble, the central bank and the finance ministry also jointly ordered Russian exporting companies to sell 80% of their foreign currency revenues on the market.
The recent moves add to a slew of measures announced since Thursday to support domestic markets, as the state scrambles to manage the broadening fallout from Western sanctions imposed in retaliation for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
(Reporting by Moscow Newsroom; Editing by Kim Coghill and Catherine Evans)