Russia's external debt down to lowest level in decade

Russia's external debt down to lowest level in decade

Russia's external debt reached its lowest level in a decade, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) said in a statement on its website.

According to the statement, the debt fell $64.354 billion (12.4%) in 2018 to $453.749 billion from $518.103 billion.

The external debt declined by $16.477 billion or 3.5% in Q4 2018 from $470.226 billion. It grew by $2.088 billion in Q1, fell $29.55 billion in Q2 and fell $20.415 billion in Q3.

Foreign debt peaked $732.779 billion as of July 1, 2014, but had fallen by $279.03 billion or 38.1% by the beginning of 2019 to its lowest level since April 1, 2009, when debt was $445.526 billion.

General government external debt decreased $11.544 billion or 20.8% during 2018 to $44.084 billion.

Debt to nonresidents on Eurobonds dropped by just $1.993 billion or 13.3% to $17.023 billion and debt on ruble-denominated government bonds in dollar equivalent fell $13.228 billion or 34.1% to $25.553 billion.

General government external debt decreased $2.197 billion in Q4, including on ruble-denominated bonds - $2.699 billion, while debt on forex-denominated bonds rose $622 million.

Russian banks reduced external debt by $18.093 billion or 17.5% to $85.292 billion in the year, including $6.895 billion in Q4, Interfax reported.

External debt of non-bank sectors declined $32.308 billion or 9.4% to $312.301 billion in the year, including by $7.996 billion in Q4. Debt liabilities to direct investors and to direct investment enterprises fell by $10.926 billion or 7.6% to $133.474 billion and loans declined by $21.202 billion or 11.7% to $160.156 billion.

The Central Bank's foreign debt decreased $2.408 billion in 2018 to $12.072 billion, falling $610 million in Q4.

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