ST. PETERSBURG, June 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russian capital flight remains rampant, with no signs of slowing down, Central Bank chief Sergei Ignatyev said on Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, capital outflow remains very high, I dare say. No fall in this trend can be seen,” Ignatyev said. He made headlines in February when he claimed a small group of well-connected individuals was responsible for almost half of Russia's capital flight, which he then estimated at $49 billion in 2012.
Russia’s balance of payments data indicate net capital outflow from Russia hit $25.8 billion in the first quarter of 2013 compared with $33.6 billion in the same period last year.
Last December, Ignatyev also blamed Russia’s unfavorable investment climate as a major factor behind the massive capital flight from the country in recent years.
“Net capital outflow of four percent of GDP over a period of several years is a strange thing and is related to specific Russian circumstances, including the unfavorable investment climate,” he said.
Capital flight from Russia peaked at $133.7 billion in 2008 when the global economic crisis broke out, falling to $56.1 billion in 2009. Capital outflow from Russia stood at $80.5 billion in 2011, up from $34.4 billion in 2010. Capital flight from Russia in 2012 amounted to $56.8 billion.
Russia’s Economics Ministry has increased its net capital outflow forecast for 2013 from zero to $30 billion.