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EXCERPTS-Russian central bank governor speaks at press conference

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MOSCOW, April 23 (Reuters) - Below are excerpts translated from Russian by Reuters from Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina speaking at an online press conference after the central bank raised its key rate by 50 basis points to 5% on Friday.

ON RATE

“We do see risks of delaying a return to neutral monetary policy. These risks can lead to the need for a more significant rate hike in the future, and I think we all want to avoid that.

“Most likely we will look at a rate hold and a 25-basis-point hike, and, under certain conditions, a bigger step is possible but a lot would depend on the (incoming) data.”

ON OFZ OUTFLOWS

“As for the outflow of non-residents from OFZs in April, the outflow was insignificant. From April 1 to 16, non-residents sold 101 billion roubles ($1.35 billion) and 43 billion roubles in the week that followed the announcement of sanctions.”

ON KEY RATE TRAJECTORY

“The upper range of the average key rate forecast for this year shows that it could be moderately tight policy. But if we consider a neutral rate range based on current inflation and inflationary expectations, then this policy could probably still be characterised as soft, maybe with a move to neutral.”

ON NWF SPENDING

“Discussions are ongoing about spending from the National Wealth Fund (NWF), but there are no final figures yet. We assume from initial estimates that this could be somewhere around 1 trillion roubles over three years. In this case, in our view there are no significant inflationary risks.”

ON NEUTRAL RATE RANGE

“The neutral range is a provisional, estimated value, and if more data becomes available, we will be ready to revise it. At the moment, in our view, there are no grounds for a revision.”

ON FOREIGN TRIPS

“We see a very gradual opening of borders in the baseline scenario. One of the disinflationary risks could be a quicker large-scale opening of borders and we will take this into account in our monetary policy.”

ON RATE STAYING AT 5% UNTIL YEAR END

“Such a scenario is possible. Everything will depend on how the situation develops, which is why we have given an average rate range as a whole for 2021.”

ON INFLATION

“Inflation was higher than we originally assumed, there were high inflation expectations and we see a faster recovery in demand, which, in our view, will continue.” ($1 = 74.8700 roubles) (Reporting by Moscow bureau, compiled by Alexander Marrow, editing by Katya Golubkova)

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