Thursday, January 1, 2015

1/1/2015: Russian Reserves Down USD10.4bn in the Week of December 26th


CBR published data on Russia's foreign exchange reserves for last week (through December 26th), showing another drop in reserves to the tune of USD10.4 billion. So far, since the onset of the accelerated Ruble crisis, Russian FX reserves are down 26.1 billion. December total (excluding December 29-31) decline in reserves is now USD32 billion, which makes it the  worst month for FX losses since the January 2009 when Russia lost USD39.4 billion in reserves. December 2014 so far ranks as the third largest decline month for the entire period for which data is available (since January 1998).

Couple of charts to illustrate:



As of the end of last week, Russian External (Forex) Reserves stood at USD388.5 billion, down from USD420.5 billion in the last week of November. Since the beginning of the sanctions period (from the week of the Crimean Referendum) through the end of last week, Russian reserves are down substantial USD 98.1 billion, while from January 2014 through end of December 2014, the reserves are down approximately USD107 billion. At this rate, and accounting for varying degree of liquidity underlying the total reserves cited here, but omitting the reserves held by larger state-owned enterprises, by my estimates, Russia currently has roughly 18-20 months worth of liquid reserves available for cover of debt redemptions and unrelated forex demand.
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