Wealthy Russians are not pulling out nearly as much cash from the country as the media has reported, the CEO of Russian industrial giant Sistema has told CNBC.
Mikhail Shamolin said the figures do not stack up under scrutiny, as the very volatile rouble has distorted data. Sistema a majority shareholder in a number of Russian telecommunications, oil, utility and consumer businesses.
"First of all, people exchange the roubles into dollars, but they keep those dollars in the mattress - that is considered to be money outflow, but it is not," he told CNBC.
"The volume of those doing that when the rouble is volatile is huge – the population is buying dollars like there is no tomorrow. And when the rouble is going down again, they are selling dollars and this repeats itself," he said, speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Moscow.