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Finance Ministry expects annual capital outflow from Russia at up to $80 billion

April 21, 2014, 20:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The ministry's official drew a parallel with the year 2008, when the global financial crisis began
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Maxim Oreshkin, director of the Finance Ministry’s long-term strategic planning department

Maxim Oreshkin, director of the Finance Ministry’s long-term strategic planning department

© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Fadeichev

MOSCOW, April 21. /ITAR-TASS/. The Finance Ministry and the Economic Development Ministry have different forecasts regarding capital outflow from Russia in 2014, with a gap of 20% in figures.

Maxim Oreshkin, director of the Finance Ministry’s long-term strategic planning department, on Monday said capital flight is expected to total up to $80 billion at the end of the year. Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev cited another figure, up to $100 billion, on April 16.

The parameters also differ by volumes of reductions of foreign investments in Russia in the first quarter — depending on those who calculate them and what methodology they follow. As a result, the outflow totaled $50 billion according to Central Bank statistics and $63 billion in line with Economic Development Ministry statistics.

Oreshkin said the Finance Ministry is convinced that the figure of the capital outflow in the first quarter will “not be seen even close in the next quarters” and that the overall capital outflow of $70-80 billion is “a more reasonable assessment”.

The official drew a parallel with the year 2008, when the global financial crisis began: “The structure of capital outflow in the first quarter in many respects resembles the situation of the fourth quarter of 2008”. This means growing volumes of foreign currency in cash — $19.6 billion and growing foreign assets in Russian banks in connection with conversion of funds.

“Such events are the result of growing uncertainty for the population and companies,” Oreshkin said.

The Economic Development Ministry has two scenarios of the situation development: the basic one and the conservative one. The first envisions capital outflow from Russia in 2015 at $40 billion, zero outflow in 2016 and an inflow of $10 billion in 2017.

The second one stipulates an outflow of $50 billion in 2015, $20 billion in 2016 and $10 billion in 2017. The Economic Development Ministry expects investment growth to resume in 2015.

Fitch Ratings sees the situation rather positively. In its April analysis, the ratings agency noted that Russian companies’ liquidity profiles testify that the corporate sector can stand a continued reduction of foreign capital inflow.

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