Russia’s gold & foreign currency reserves surge for third consecutive year
The Central Bank of Russia reports that foreign exchange reserves saw a significant boost of 8.3 percent over the 12 months through January 1 of the current year.
Reserves reportedly grew to over $468 billion from $432 billion at the beginning of last January. According to the regulator, reserves grew for the third consecutive year. In 2017, growth totaled $55 billion, while 2016 saw an increase of $9.3 billion.
The value of gold in the reserves increased by nearly five percent to $86.9 billion in December, with the share of the precious metal surging to 18.5 percent. Last year, saw the value of gold in Russia’s reserves grow by over $10 billion, marking an increase of 13 percent.
The aggregate value of the national reserves grew by 0.6 percent to $381 billion in December, and showed an increase of 7.2 percent last year.
Russia’s growing reserves in the last three years seem to point to an adjustment to economic sanctions imposed by the US and the European Union in 2014. Western penalties had a significant initial impact on Russia’s reserves, which saw a decrease of $124 billion in 2014 and a $17 billion contraction the following year.
Russia’s international reserves are highly liquid foreign assets comprising stocks of monetary gold, foreign currencies and Special Drawing Right (SDR) assets, which are at the disposal of the Central Bank of Russia and the government.
Earlier this month, Russia’s central bank reported that it cut the share of the US dollar in the country’s foreign reserves to a historic low, transferring nearly $100 billion into the euro, the Japanese yen and the Chinese yuan. The step came as a part of a broader state policy on eliminating a reliance on the greenback.
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