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Till debt do us part: Russia’s holdings of US Treasuries plunge to 12-year low

Foreign investors led by Russia accelerated the reduction of US debt securities in April, decreasing their holdings of Treasury bills by $29.5 billion, data released by the US Treasury Department shows.

Russia cropped its stockpile of US debt by $1.6 billion. The country’s holdings decreased from $13.7 billion in March to $12.1 billion in April. That’s the lowest figure since May 2007 when Russia’s ownership of US debt stood at $11.8 billion.

Once a leading holder of US Treasury bonds, Russia has been sharply reducing its holdings in recent years. It has cut nearly 85 percent of the holdings from $96.9 billion in January 2018. The drop is even more significant from 2010, when Russia held over $170 billion in US debt bonds.

Data showed that the largest US creditor, China, has also trimmed its holdings in April to the lowest level since May 2017. Chinese holdings of Treasury securities declined for a second straight month, to $1.113 trillion in April, from $1.120 trillion the previous month. The country still remains the largest foreign holder of US Treasuries.

The second-largest non-US holder of American debt, Japan, also reduced holdings in April, to $1.064 trillion, from $1.078 trillion the previous month.

Statistics showed that overall foreign holdings of US Treasuries dropped to $6.433 trillion in April, from $6.473 trillion in March.

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