OREANDA-NEWS The external debt of Russia, including debts of Russian state bodies, the Central Bank, commercial banks, companies and households to non-residents, in 2018 decreased by $64.4 billion, or 12.4%, and amounted to $453.75 billion, according to the Central Bank on January, 1. In the fourth quarter, the external debt decreased by $16.5 billion, or 3.5%.

"External liabilities have reduced all institutional sectors, but the largest contribution to the reduction of the country's external debt was made by other sectors [companies, households], whose debt decreased by $32.3 billion," the Bank of Russia said in a comment.

The indicator of total external debt fell to the lowest level since April 1, 2009, follows from the data of the Central Bank. Peak external debt was reached in mid-2014 at $733 billion.

The external debt of the Russian economy shrinking in 2014, against the background of Western sanctions, which restricted lending to Russian corporations. Foreigners also come out of the Russian public debt: the share of non — residents in the volume of issues of Russian Federal Loan Bonds fell on December 1 to 24.7% - the minimum since mid-2016.

As part of the external debt of about $56 billion accounted for loans from the Federal government and the Central Bank, and about $398 billion — the debts of banks, companies and households. A little more than a quarter of Russia's external debt is liabilities in rubles, according to the Central Bank data as of October 1, 2018. About 53% of external debt-private sector debt.

Earlier, the Bank of Russia informed about the purchase of 8.8 billion ounces of gold (about 274 tons) in 2018. Thus, by the end of the year, gold reserves in the international reserves of the Central Bank increased to a record figure of 67.9 million ounces (2,112 thousand tons).