While banks and their customers "starve to death" temporarily the hryvnia, they rejoice in the "economic" national currency. Because things can change soon.
The mood in the foreign exchange market has improved slightly: there are many changes and there is much demand, because it is "out of season". As a result, the dollar exchange rate in banks Wednesday morning: the purchase of UAH 27.80-27.95 / USD and the sale of UAH 27.99-28.20 / USD. In exchange offices – 28 UAH / USD, more or less. The official NBU rate is 27.95 UAH / USD.
In recent days, the hryvnia has strengthened, falling below the psychological score of 28 hryvnia per dollar. Taking into account such a vector of the movement of the national currency, the National Bank decided to buy dollars at a price – after many months of "rest" in the interbank market, announced the purchase of $ 100 millions. The first sign that the circumstances for the reintegration of foreign exchange reserves are the most favorable.
Recall that from the beginning of the year, the national currency has gradually strengthened from "winter" almost 28 UAH / USD to "summer", in the season of currency break, 26 with a few cents. And in the early autumn, it started to sink again, almost halfway to 29. And now it rose slightly to the initial annual values (on the chart in the pair "dollar-hryvnia" the process comes back – Aut).
Factors contributing to the strengthening of today's purely domestic hryvnia – domestic farmers "knock down" the foreign currency in the market from the harvest crop harvest, and the population, which mainly sells the currency in anticipation of utility payments at higher rates , do not stay behind. And on the corresponding bank accounts, meanwhile, the hryvnia liquidity has decreased from 52 to 45 billion UAH, which does not allow speculators among the main players to venture a lot into the interbank market.
For banks, a significant reintegration of hryvnia stocks is expected from the planned repayment of VAT, which is expected to be 2-3 billion UAH. A "loot" of the positive for the hryvnia can also be brought onto the market by non-residents, who will soon receive hryvnia from the redemption of government bonds. That is, while the hryvnia hunger of the banks and their large customers persists – they do not have time for a special game with currency.
The National Bank, this situation of internal deficit of hryvnia against the background of favorable conditions for Ukrainian exports, which supplies the country with money, seems to please him, because he himself entered the market with the purchase of dollars.
At the same time, maintain the stability of the hryvnia and the funds raised since last October of placement of Ukrainian eurobonds. The strong demand for Eurobonds slightly attenuated the cost of the loan (9%), but on the whole these $ 2 billion became a certain "security buffer" in the absence of IMF loan funds until now. The new Stand By program in the amount of $ 3.9 billion should serve as the basis for economic stability next year.
However, to understand how the current situation of strengthening the hryvnia is in the long run, you should look at the geopolitical solitary. Unfortunately, global economic trends, which have formed under the influence of the trade war between the United States and China, have already led to the inhibition of local economies. And the relative political instability in Europe – our main export direction – also entails considerable risks for the hryvnia. This opinion was expressed by experts from the FOREXCLUB group of companies in the comments of the Finance.ua portal, stating that the situation in international trade does not give confidence in further stability and international finances.
This is intuitively felt by domestic business owners. According to the NBU survey, over 90% of Ukrainian business leaders in the next 12 months expect a depreciation of the hryvnia, despite the fact that 75% of such pessimists a quarter before. The majority are confident that by the end of this year the exchange rate could exceed UAH 29 / $.
In reality, this level is also set by the state budget draft for 2019. However, the Ukrainian currency is likely to fall to this level before the end of 2018. This is if the Council of Ministers does not listen to the advice of the NBU and new allows the imbalance of the money market at the end of the fiscal year. This happens when the market is full of extra hryvnia due to large-scale government spending, which in turn causes an increase in the demand for foreign currency.
As stated in the recommendations of the National Bank Council, the Cabinet "must make further efforts to improve the quality of forecasts on the dynamics of the Treasury's single account, as well as to ensure uniform and predictable budget payments and VAT refunds". In the future, according to the financial regulator, the government should reduce loans in foreign currency in the form of foreign currency bonds, gradually replacing them with the hryvnia. The recommendations are sensible, but if they are heard, we will see it soon.
Oksana Polishchuk. Kiev