“It will be a panic”, — said Gref about the consequences of Brexit for Russia in an interview with Blomberg TV at the St. Petersburg international economic forum (SPIEF). According to him, if next week the UK will make a decision about leaving the EU, it would undermine Russia’s recovery from the recession and strike at the foreign exchange and stock market.
The head of Sberbank believes that Brexit may lead to reduction of Russia’s GDP by 1%, shares of Russian companies may fall in price by 5-10%. “It will have a very negative impact on our economy, on our exchange rate and on the investors in Russian securities. I’m not sure if this is going to continue in the long term, but the first reaction can be very bad” — said Gref.
About a possible panic on the stock markets in the event of a British exit from the EU at the forum also expressed by Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak. “The reaction of the markets will probably be very nervous. If this happens, the market reaction will be very rapid. Still, the pound sterling is a reserve currency, after all, the London exchange is a leading platform. And from this platform depends on the financial health of many tens, if not thousands of enterprises”, — quotes the official RIA Novosti.
With Gref’s opinion about the collapse of the stock market is difficult to argue, says chief economist for Russia and CIS “Renaissance Capital” Oleg Kuzmin. “After the British exit from the EU, the world picture will change. In particular, it will delay Russia’s economic growth, which we hoped to see in the second half of this year, until 2017”, — he commented. The ruble, according to Kuzmin, will be weakened, but as it was, he predicted not taken. The economist believes that Brexit there are pluses for Russia, for example, the possibility of a more rapid lifting of sanctions.
VEB Deputy Chairman Andrei Klepach said that a British exit from the European Union may increase the attractiveness of assets in emerging markets. “I think that in terms of such disturbances with the European securities value of securities of emerging market, especially Russia, which is undervalued will be reconsidered by the funds and their attractiveness will increase,” he said.
According to Klepach, if Brexit should occur, the price of corporate securities of European companies are greatly reduced. “But our paper are fundamentally preferable,” — said the Deputy head of VEB.
The Russian authorities expect the economy to recover this year and the strengthening of the ruble. The ruble may strengthen stronger than predicted by the Finance Ministry, said at SPIEF economic development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev. According to him, the average in 2016, the dollar may be lower than incorporated in the forecast level of 67.5 RUB “I won’t tell, will we look at your forecast, but there is a significant chance that there will be stronger value of the rouble than we have in the forecast. Because the prediction is made based on oil prices of $40 [per barrel], and today she is somewhat different and the trend is somewhat different” — quoted Minister RIA Novosti.
Also, according to forecasts Ulyukayev, Russia’s economy since the third quarter will show growth. Low point of the recession passed, there is a rapid economic recovery. Since the third quarter, the Russian economy will show growth. The recession in the economy will completely cease by the end of this year”, — said the Minister, speaking at the forum “Business twenty” in the framework of SPIEF. According to the speaker, the decline in GDP in January—may this year amounted to less than 1%.
A referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU will take place on June 23. According to surveys, the number of supporters and opponents of Brexit (leaving the EU) is about the same.