UPDATE 1-Russian cbank blames euro zone for rouble weakness
* Cbank governor says eurozone woes only reason for rouble demise
* Sees rouble rebounding
* Says 2012 inflation target unchanged at 5-6 pct
By Katya Golubkova
ST PETERSBURG, Russia, June 6 (Reuters) - Russia's central bank governor on Wednesday blamed the deepening euro zone debt crisis for the recent rouble decline, but said the currency will most likely rebound, leaving this year's inflation target of 5-6 percent intact.
"The main or even the only reason is escalation of crisis in Europe," Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev told a banking conference in Russia's northern city of St. Petersburg.
"Unfortunately, European politicians did not provide a clear and solid programme how to overcome the crisis yet. Due to concerns over a new fall in economic activity global oil prices are falling."
Following a rapid fall in oil prices in May on fears that euro zone crisis will cut production activity and lower energy resources need, the rouble has lost around 14 percent against the dollar. Oil and gas exports are the bedrock of Russia's economy.
The rouble trades now at 32.79 versus the U.S. currency, while at its high this year in February it was trading at 29.04 per dollar. Earlier this week, it hit a three-year low.
Apart from capital outflows from Russian assets on the back of a drop in oil prices, the currency was also hammered by a wave of automatic stop-loss orders as investors who had earlier bet on a stronger rouble gave up hope.
Ignatyev said on Wednesday, however, that the recent rouble depreciation may not impact inflation target if the currency returns to the levels seen in April, when it traded at around 29.50 against the dollar.
"How is the rouble's weakness going to affect inflation? It's possible that it will not at all. If the rouble remains at the current level, then we may see some impact, but I think it will not be strong and will be spread over time," he said.
"In any case, we don't change our inflation target for this year and will try to keep it under 6 percent."
Last year, Russia saw inflation of 6.1 percent, its lowest in 20 years, while the economy expanded 4.3 percent in gross domestic product terms. The government envisages GDP growth this year at 3.4 percent.
Ignatyev said that he does not see any danger to Russian banking system at the moment, echoing comments his First Deputy Alexey Simanovsky made on Tuesday.
Simanovsky said he still believes domestic banking sector to see loan growth of 20-25 percent in 2012, with even the worst of euro zone debt crisis not pushing Russia to the crisis position two years ago.
Ignatyev also added that if European Central Bank resumes buying Italy's and Spain's treasury bonds "it may have positive impact on financial and commodity markets." (Additional reporting by Liza Dobkina; Writing by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Toby Chopra)
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