BOFIT Viikkokatsaus / BOFIT Weekly 2018/04

At the end of 2017, Russia's foreign debt was about 530 billion dollars, an increase of 3 % y-o-y. Russian banks continued to pay down foreign debt, while debt of non-bank companies and government increased. At the end of 2017, the foreign debt of banks amounted to 105 billion dollars, non-bank firms 354 billion dollars and government 56 billion dollars. About 85 billion dollars in debt comes due this year.

From the peak of end-2013, the value of foreign debt has fallen by 200 billion dollars. Nearly half of the reduction, however, came from shifts in foreign exchange rates, particularly ruble depreciation (about a quarter of Russia's foreign debt is denominated in rubles). Russian banks have reduced their foreign debt by about half since the end of 2013, while other corporates have seen their indebtedness fall only slightly. Although firms have paid down their dollar-denominated debt, their ruble- and euro-denominated debt has risen since the end of 2013.

The value of the Russian government's total foreign debt has also shrunk from the end of 2013 largely on ruble depreciation. The government has paid down its dollar-denominated debt while increasing its ruble-denominated debt. Russia's government debt is still quite low: at the end of 2017, foreign debt was 56 billion dollars and domestic debt 124 billion dollars, or 11 % of GDP in total.