The external debt of the RF as of July 1, 2018 was $ 485 billion, which is 6.6% lower than it was in the first quarter, the Central Bank said today. The rate of reduction of sovereign debt has become the highest since mid-2015, with the same trend observed in all sectors of the economy.
Government agencies have reduced external debt by almost 17%, to $ 49.7 billion, of which $ 31.5 billion - are securities in rubles, another $ 16.6 billion - securities in foreign currency. The debt of the banking sector decreased by 9.3%, to $ 95.4 billion, the Central Bank - by 25.1%, to $ 15.6 billion. The Bank of Russia mainly reduced its loan debt, which increased throughout the past year. The external debt of the real sector decreased by 3% in the second quarter, to $ 327.9 billion, while the companies reduced their debts on loans, debt securities, to direct investors, but increased other debts (there is no information on its structure in the Central Bank statistics) in 2.5 times, to $ 6.2 billion.
Thus, the decrease in external debt was due to the release of foreign investors from sovereign debt securities and the lack of debt financing of Russian companies. At the same time, Russia's external debt remains relatively low. In a recent survey of the situation in developing countries, Bank of America Merrill Lynch noted that low public debt is one of the factors of macroeconomic stability in Russia.
In general, the data of the Central Bank reflect a worsening of conditions for Russian issuers - both the government and the companies of the banking and real sectors.
Earlier in April, the Ministry of Finance refused to place federal loan bonds (OFZs) amid negative market conditions - new US sanctions led to a massive withdrawal of foreign investors from Russian OFZs and a sharp increase in bond yields. At the same time, analysts of the Yegor Gaidar IEP and the Government's Analytical Center noted the barriers to the emergence of private non-financial companies in corporate bond markets.