Russia’s foreign currency debt pile at risk of default

Sanctions could block coupon payments on $200bn of externally held foreign currency bonds

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With Russia poised to default on its sovereign debt, there is considerable uncertainty as to whether or not the country’s banks and corporates can continue to make interest payments on nearly $200 billion of externally held foreign currency bonds.

The Bank of Russia has already blocked coupon payments on local currency sovereign and corporate bonds held by foreign investors. As of September 2021, the most recent official data available, these holdings totalled nearly $138 billion. Now, an even

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