MOSCOW - According to some reports, the inflow of euro notes into the country stopped at the beginning of this year. As for the US dollar, the amount of cash brought into the country was also falling throughout last year. If this trend continues, currency exchange offices may become a thing of the past, as people seem not to need foreign cash, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper reports.
In December 2003, the Central Bank of Russia reported that the inflow of foreign cash into Russia had dropped sharply. In December, it fell 36 percent compared with November. According to statistics, this is due to the fact that the ‘import’ of US dollars into Russia dropped by nearly half. On the contrary, the amount of euro cash brought into the country increased by almost 50 percent. But this trend was short lived. As soon as the euro started weakening against the US currency, interest in euro cash also disappeared, analysts say.
“Banks started buying less euros than, say, half a year ago. Maybe, some banks don’t buy them at all. Most likely, this is because the market is saturated with euro notes at the moment. In other words, the amount of euro cash on the market is sufficient for operations,” a currency expert told RBC. “The overall number of cash purchases dropped,” said another analyst.
Most bank experts point to the same trend: people sell dollars and buy euros and rubles, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta says.