Fears of punitive measures on Russian individuals and their international assets may be scaring Russian capital back to the mother country, one expert told CNBC on Thursday. And this could be good news for the Kremlin.
Recently announced targeted sanctions from the U.S. Treasury Department and threats of asset freezes by the U.K. government are making some wealthy Russians nervous, said Christopher Granville, managing director of global political research at TS Lombard.
"There is evidence of reverse capital flight back from the West into Russia," Granville said, discussing the possible Western retaliatory measures against Russia following its alleged nerve agent attack on a former spy in the English town of Salisbury. British authorities have concluded that the toxin used came from Russia's military, while Moscow has denied the findings.
Granville described "a major book building in a Russian sovereign eurobond" this week with a $7 billion total face value, which he said would be "a very good instrument for Russians who are concerned about the safety of their capital, whether it's held in the U.K. or elsewhere in Western Europe or North America, to repatriate. Plenty of signs of this going on."