Capital outflow from Russia in January-February 2019 more than doubled year-on-year to $18.6bn from $8.7bn seen for the same period of last year, the data by the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) shows.
The outflow has nearly hit the total 2019 CBR outflow forecast of $20bn. In 2018 capital outflow from Russia increased 2.7-fold to $67.5bn. According to the CBR this was due to cutting foreign debt by the Russian banks and simultaneous piling of export cash on accounts.
In the first half of 2018 this was neutralised by the regular purchases of foreign currency by the Finance Ministry on the open market, which was halted in the second half of 2018 following sanction-induced market volatility.
In January-February the FX/gold reserves of the CBR have increased by $6.1bn due to the resumption of the FX purchases.