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Russian banks imported $5 billion in foreign cash in December -ACRA estimates

Dollars traditionally dominate such imports which, along with other currencies, many Russians like to hold as a hedge against any drop in the value of the rouble or rise in inflation, both potential outcomes of foreign sanctions. Valery Piven, senior director at ACRA, told Reuters that calculations based on technical reports which banks submit to Russia’s central bank each month showed that they had also imported $2.1 billion in foreign banknotes in November. The United States is considering new sanctions against Russia, proposing to cut some of its top banks from dollar transactions and reducing their ability to service dollar-denominated obligations, sources told Reuters.

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