CHINESE investors have bought between 50 billion roubles (US$880 million) and 60 billion roubles worth of Russian domestic treasury bonds this year, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said yesterday.
Moscow has increasingly looked east for investors, including for its domestic debt, after the West imposed economic sanctions on Russia last year over its role in the Ukraine crisis.
“I think that after purchasing such a volume and realizing that this is a good, profitable, reliable investment, our Chinese partners will expand the volume of their investment into the Russian economy,” Siluanov said in an interview with Rossiya 24 television.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose country needs investment to pull out of a recession spurred by sanctions and falling oil prices, has been shifting his economic and political focus toward Asian markets and toward China in particular.
The Russian Finance Ministry plans to borrow around 800 billion roubles on the domestic market in 2015.
The bond purchase by China suggests high-yielding Russian assets remain attractive to certain overseas investors, despite sanctions and volatility in the Russian rouble, in which so-called OFZ bonds are denominated.
Earlier, sources said the purchase took place outside the Finance Ministry’s weekly OFZ auctions and at different times.