Sberbank imported $ 5 billion in foreign cash in December: ACRA estimate


Moscow-Russia’s rating agency ACRA estimates that in December, the country’s banks imported $ 5 billion worth of banknotes in foreign currency as a preemptive measure in the event of increased demand due to sanctions.

The dollar traditionally dominates such imports, and like other currencies, many Russians prefer to hold it as a hedge against a decline in the value of the ruble or an increase in inflation. Both of these are potential consequences of foreign sanctions.

Valley Piven, senior director of ACRA, told Reuters that calculations based on a monthly technical report submitted by banks to the central bank of Russia showed that they also imported $ 2.1 billion in foreign banknotes in November.

“The ratio of foreign exchange assets and liabilities held by banks is regulated by the central bank, [currently] Don’t worry.increase of [forex] Imports are associated with the potential for a surge in demand for cash currencies. “

The central bank of Russia declined to comment, but national banks regularly cash foreign currencies to meet the demands of dollar and euro customers for overseas travel, or in case of unforeseen circumstances. Is imported at.

Correspondent account

Despite growing concerns about military conflicts in Ukraine, foreign exchange imports in December brought $ 18 billion to Russia at the end of 2014, when the ruble fell free after Moscow annexed the Crimean crisis. It’s still well below.

Russia has denied plans to attack Ukraine.

According to central bank data, about half of the total foreign assets and liabilities of Russian banks, or about $ 100 billion and $ 70 billion, respectively, are held in US $. This has decreased from about 80% in 2002 to 70% in early 2014.

Russia’s top banks, Sberbank, VTB, VEB and Gazprombank, were listed as candidates for dollar sanctions in a Reuters report on Monday, but did not respond to requests for comment.

The Russian Ministry of Finance did not respond to requests for comment.

After President Vladimir Putin formally approves two secession areas in eastern Ukraine and escalated the continent’s security crisis, the United States and its European allies are ready to announce severe new sanctions against Russia on Tuesday. I am.

Russia’s Treasury said last week that it would guarantee that all bank debt, including foreign currencies, would be respected if sanctions hit the financial sector, saying there were temporary market volatility.

Reuters

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