The net outflow of capital from Russia will total $70 billion-$80 billion in 2014 and the current account surplus will top $50 billion, the head of the Finance Ministry's long-term strategic planning department Maxim Oreshkin told journalists.
"As for the current account, we believe that the trend toward a reduction in the current account, which we have seen in the last several years, has changed. Now we have a trend toward an improved situation with the current account of balance of payments. A weaker ruble and higher interest rates will support this trend in the coming quarter. We expect that the current account surplus will exceed $50 billion. Last year it was just a little over $30 billion," he said.
As for the net capital outflow, Oreshkin said that the Finance Ministry doesn't believe "we will see anything close to the first quarter capital outflow numbers in the coming quarters and that the figure for the entire year will be substantially less than $100 billion. Most likely, a reasonable estimate is $70 billion-$80 billion," he said.
The structure of the capital outflow currently resembles that seen in the fourth quarter of 2008: a large increase in foreign currency held as cash - $19.6 billion - and growth in the banking system's foreign assets associated with conversion of corporate and individual funds held at banks into foreign currency. "Such occurrences are the result of greater uncertainty among the public and companies. Recalling the experience of 2008-2009, they are non-recurring and the reverse trend is normally observed in ensuing quarters," Oreshkin said.
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