MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. Russian holdings of the US debt started going up in August 2019 after a sell-off of US Treasury securities in the spring of 2018. Experts interviewed by TASS expect Russia to keep buying US government securities despite the announced de-dollarization policy.
According to the data provided by the US Department of the Treasury, Russian holdings of the US debt increased by $794 mln in November 2019 to $11.491 bln, including $8.512 bln worth of short-term securities and $2.979 bln worth of long-term securities.
The expected increase in Russia’s investments in the US national debt is due to the Central Bank’s intention to diversify its international reserves. Meanwhile, the investment growth remains rather restrained, BCS Premier’s chief analyst Anton Pokatovich suggests.
Indeed, Russia is not even among top 30 biggest holders of the US state debt now. Japan remains the leader on that list followed by China and the UK.
Pokatovich expects Russian investments in US Treasury securities to be cautiously increased in coming months.
"Those actions continue within the framework of diversification of the Central Bank’s investment structure. We believe that the reasons for raising the holdings of the US debt have not changed notably either. On the other hand, the Federal Reserve may return to the rate reduction in 2020, which creates the potential for growth of the US debt securities’ prices and explains the reasonability of the current purchases of US Treasuries," he noted.
Freedom Finance’s Alexander Osin shares the outlook. "I expect further growth of US Treasuries’ rates in the mid- and long-term. The main reason is a gradual formation of the market’s pro-inflation response to the super-soft monetary policy of central banks of developed states in 2008-2016 and, to a lesser degree, in 2019. Considering the above-mentioned statistics, Russia will continue increasing investments in the US Treasuries amid the growth of their yield and despite de-dollarization announced by Russia’s authorities," he said.
Osin projects that the share of the dollar in Russia’s international reserves will return to the level of 30-40% if the yield of ten-year US Treasury securities increases to 3% per annum, while the share of the euro, yuan and other currencies will decline.
However, the Bank of Russia will also keep boosting gold purchases "in response to mounting long-term monetary risks of inflation acceleration and deficit in the segment of non-ferrous metals," which many Russian and foreign analysts note now, Osin added.