Russia has external debt of $529 billion
Russia's external debt, as of the 1st of January 2018, amounted to $529.084 billion, according to the Bank of Russia's estimates.
In comparison with the beginning of the previous year it has increased by $15.0 billion (2.9%) from $514.132 billion.
The growth of the external debt was due to the acquisition by foreign investors of sovereign debt securities denominated in Russian rubles, and attraction by Russian companies of debt financing from foreign affiliates. In contrast, the external debt of banks decreased to the lowest level in the last decade.
The external debt of Russia's Central Bank increased by $2.640 billion in a year with a decline of $6.66 billion in the fourth quarter , to $14.974 billion.
The professor at the department of the stock market and investments at the Higher School of Economics, Alexander Abramov, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, said that it was Russian companies which increased the external debt.
"On the one hand, the external market, Eurobonds have not been so closed to them, so it is partly a debt of Russian companies, which, in principle, are still attractive for international investors," the expert said.
As for the question of how comfortable it is for Russia to have an external debt of more than $500 billion, which now amounts to 36% of GDP, the financier explained that this is not a public debt in the broadest sense: "Basically, it is the debt of companies and banks. I think that he debt is big enough, but it is not threatening. That is, it is desirable for Russia to reduce this debt, but in general it is not overburdensome," Alexander Abramov concluded.
Russia's external debt exceeded $500 billion in April 2011, in January 2013 it exceeded $600 billion, and peaked in July 2014, amounting $732.779 billion, after which Russia has started actively repaying foreign debt, reaching $514 billion one year ago.