Russia’s Capital Outflows Reached US$50 Billion In February-March

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Russia’s Central Bank regulator has stated that the Capital outflow from Russia could have reached US$51.4 billion in February-March. The regulator said on April 11 that capital outflow was an estimated US$64.2 billion in Q1 2022. It said two months ago that US$12.8 billion had flowed out of the country in January, but has not published an estimate for January-February.

If correct, this means that the capital outflow for the past two months is equivalent to the US$50.3 billion that left Russia in the whole of 2020.

When the Crimea situation emerged in 2014, Russia’s Capital outflow for the year was a record $152.1 billion. The biggest quarterly outflow figure on record is US$133.6 billion in Q4 2008 when the short conflict with Georgia occurred.

Russia’s Central Bank said in its updated baseline scenario that capital outflow could be US$75 billion for the whole of 2022, assuming Urals crude trades at US$70/bbl.

Much of the outflow has been eastbound, including Central Asia, where reports of Russians setting up thousands of new bank accounts have emerged, Dubai, with similar stories, and other Central and South Asian destinations. To get around currency export restrictions in Russia, many individuals have been using cryptocurrencies to move money out of the country.

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