Russia continues US debt dump-a-thon

Once a major holder of US Treasuries, Moscow started the sell-off of American government-issued securities in 2017

The Russian central bank has continued getting rid of US Treasury bonds, with its share of investments in American debt shrinking by $1.3 billion in November to $2.4 billion, according to the US Treasury Department.

Statistics show that at the end of November, the Russian owned long-term government bonds totaled a modest $101 million against the $554 million a month earlier. Investments in short-term Treasury securities decreased to $2.308 billion from $3.166 billion.

Russia used to be one of the major holders of US Treasuries. Back in 2013, Russian investments in US government bonds exceeded $150 billion. However, the country’s central bank has been steadily cutting this investment since May 2017, in line with the state-supported de-dollarization policy, and in response to sanctions imposed by the White House. In April 2018, Russia’s investments in US Treasuries almost halved, decreasing from $96.1 billion to $48.7 billion. 

The regulator also turned to diversifying the national reserves, increasing bullion purchases in recent years to record levels, and earning the title of one of the world’s major gold purchasers.

READ MORE: Russia keeps stockpiling gold & foreign currency

Data shows Japan remains the largest holder of US Treasury bonds for the thirtieth month in a row, increasing investments by $20.2 billion in November to $1.34 trillion. China, ranked the second-biggest holder of US state debt, increasing its share to $1.08 trillion. The UK is the third-biggest holder with $621.6 billion. Luxembourg, Ireland, Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, Brazil, Taiwan, and Hong Kong are among the top 10 holders of US government bonds.

Overall, foreign holders of US sovereign debt increased their holdings by $88.8 billion in November to $7.75 trillion.

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