The Russian central bank sold a little over 1.1 trillion roubles at two long-term repo auctions on Monday, the largest injection of roubles into the banking system since early November.
Repo, or repurchase agreement, auctions help prevent rouble liquidity shortages in the banking sector, which became more acute last year as the COVID-19 pandemic and a sharp fall in oil prices bruised Russia’s economy, leading the finance ministry to more than double its domestic borrowing.
In 2021, Russia is eyeing borrowing around $1 billion a week.
The central bank on Monday sold 1.1 trillion roubles ($14.8 billion) at a one-month auction out of 1.5 trillion roubles on offer, after an earlier one-year auction had seen more modest demand of 10.3 billion roubles ($138 million) from 100 billion roubles offered.
Liquidity at such auctions has become more affordable since the central bank slashed its key rate to a record low of 4.25% last year. ($1 = 74.5850 roubles) ($1 = 74.6150 roubles).
One-month and one-year repos will be carried out on a monthly basis in accordance with the schedule. All banks that already have the opportunity to conduct repos with the Bank of Russia may take part in the repo auctions.