Russia's first default on its foreign liabilities in a century now looks almost inevitable after another brutal week for the country's finances. Data on debt insurance coverage gives a nearly 90 percent chance of default within 12 months.
Bloomberg reports that.
First, the U.S. Treasury suspended payments of dollar-denominated debts from Russia's accounts in U.S. banks, tightening restrictions on the country. Then, when an attempt to pay in hard currency was blocked, Russia defaulted on two bond issues by paying investors in rubles instead of dollars. This pushed the countdown clock one step closer to default.
Now, the data on debt insurance coverage gives a nearly 90 percent chance of default within 12 months, according to the latest ICE Data Services survey.
The last default in Russia was in 1998, but then it was on domestic debt. And the last default on foreign debt was after the revolution in 1917.
"If Russia fails to arrange payments to bondholders during the grace period and the dollars don't arrive in the accounts, it's a default," said Lutz Rogmeier, chief investment officer at Capitulum Asset Management in Berlin.