Russia’s central bank and sovereign wealth fund probably own a combined US$140 billion worth of Chinese bonds, assets that they may seek to access given global sanctions, according to estimates by Australia & New Zealand Banking Group. The Bank of Russia could hold US$80 billion of yuan debt, while the National Wealth Fund is estimated to own US$60 billion, analysts including Raymond Yeung wrote in a report on Wednesday. Together, that represents almost a quarter of foreign ownership in China’s domestic bond market, they said. We are watching if Russia will liquidate the assets if [Chinese yuan] cash is needed to meet other payment obligations Australia & New Zealand Banking Group “Russia’s China bond holdings and [Chinese yuan] could be major foreign assets and currency that Russia can access,” the analysts said. “We are watching if Russia will liquidate the assets if [Chinese yuan] cash is needed to meet other payment obligations.” Russia could potentially use their yuan assets and China’s own cross-border payment system to counter the impact of Western sanctions, they added. Will China yuan payment system offer Russia a lifeline after Swift ban? China could provide a financial lifeline to Russia if Beijing decides to buck Western efforts to cut its strategic partner out of the global financial system. The country’s central bank has a multibillion-dollar currency swap with its Russian counterpart, allowing the two nations to provide liquidity to businesses. China has also signed Russian banks onto its home-grown payments settlement system, seen as an alternative to the Swift messaging system, which some Russian lenders will be banned from using.