NEW YORK, December 6. /TASS/. The Russian Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves (FXRs) are sufficient to cover the country's external debt obligations next year, Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) has said in its report.
As of December 1, the Bank of Russia’s FXRs totaled $361 billion. “This is more than sufficient to cover the country's external debt payment obligations through 2015,” which amount to $130 billion across government, banks and corporate debt, the ratings agency says.
Moody’s says in case of necessity, Russia’s authorities may use two special savings Funds - the National Wealth Fund (NWF) and Reserve Fund (RF) - for paying external debt.
“The need for such action could arise if oil prices were to fall still further, eroding the current account surplus, or if there were a further escalation of tensions/international sanctions,” the report says.
The report notes that the Central Bank’s FX sales to support the ruble dropped from $29 billion in October to $1 billion in November after the decision to switch to a freely floating ruble.
Meanwhile, the severe pressure on the ruble resulting from a fall in oil prices poses a significant challenge to the new exchange rate policy and the CBR will “intervene more aggressively to support the ruble if it believes financial stability is threatened.”.