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30 Jan, 2020 14:59

Russia adds nearly $1 billion to forex reserves, raising them to almost $560 billion

Russia adds nearly $1 billion to forex reserves, raising them to almost $560 billion

Russian gold and foreign currency holdings have increased to a total of $559.8 billion, according to the latest data released by the country’s central bank.

The international funds increased by $900 million, or nearly 0.2 percent, compared to last week, and around $5 billion since the beginning of the year. The regulator said the holdings rose mainly due to buying foreign currency, in line with a fiscal rule aimed to shield the Russian economy from swings in oil prices.

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The state 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 (CBR) and the government. The current level of the holdings is almost 20 percent higher than the target of $500 billion set by the CBR several years ago.

Russia has been boosting the reserves for four years running. Last year, growth totaled nearly $86 billion, while 2018 and 2017 saw increases of around $33 billion and $55 billion respectively.

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The country is also reshaping its international holdings, cutting the share of the US dollar in favor of other currencies and gold. Last year, the CBR reported that the greenback share fell from 43.7 percent to 23.6 percent in twelve months from March 2018. Moscow has also been actively increasing its bullion reserves, which totaled $110.3 billion as of January 1.

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