2015 Russia Capital Outflow Far Smaller, Mainly Debt Repayment

Not only was capital outflow for 2015 mainly debt repayment, at $57 billion it was three times less than the outflow seen in 2014 (which was also mainly repayment of debt that couldn't be rolled over)

In two recent posts, I covered Russian External Debt dynamics and drawdowns on Russian Sovereign Wealth Funds. Last, but not least, I am yet to cover capital inflows/outflows for 2015. So, as promised, here is a post covering these.

Based on data that includes preliminary reporting for 4Q 2015, full year 2015 net capital outflows from Russia amounted to USD56.9 billion, composed of USD33.4 billion outflows in the Banking Sector and USD23.5 billion outflows in ‘Other Sectors’. In the banking sector there were simultaneous disposals of some USD28.2 billion of assets and reduction of USD61.6 in liabilities (repayment of maturing debts and deposits).

Thus, 2015 marked the second lowest year in the last 5 in terms of net capital outflows. In comparison, 2014 net capital outflows stood at a whooping USD153 billion and 2013 saw outflows of USD61.6 billion. Net banks’ position improved from outflows of USD86.0 billion in 2014 to outflows of USD33.4 billion in 2015. Other Sectors outflows also improved in 2015. In 2015, this category of outflows amounted to USD23.5 billion, against USD67 billion in 2014. 2015 marked the slowest outflows year in this sector in 8 years.

Chart to illustrate dynamics:


On a quarterly basis, net capital outflows from Russia in 4Q 2015 are estimated at USD9.2 billion, down from USD76.2 billion in 4Q 2014. Capital outflows were lower in every quarter of 2015 compared to corresponding quarter of 2014 and in 3Q 2015 there was a net capital inflow of USD3.4 billion - the first net inflow in any quarter since 2Q 2010.

So on balance, Russian capital outflows remain strong, but are abating rapidly. Most of the outflows is accounted for by the deleveraging of the Banks followed by shallower deleveraging of the ‘Other Sectors’.


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