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8 May, 2023 16:30

Russian rainy day fund growing – Finance Ministry

The emergency reserve will soon hold only gold, Chinese yuan, and the ruble, as Moscow reduces its exposure to currencies of ‘unfriendly’ nations
Russian rainy day fund growing – Finance Ministry

The volume of Russia’s National Wealth Fund (NWF) rose by 570 billion rubles ($7.3 billion) in April to nearly $155 billion, the Ministry of Finance reported on Friday.

The NWF, which accumulates revenue from oil exports, was created to support the national pension system and to help cover budget deficits when needed.

According to the ministry, as of May 1 the size of the fund was equivalent to 8.3% of Russia’s projected gross domestic product for 2023. At the same time, the amount of liquid assets in the rainy day fund stood at $84 billion, which equals 4.6% of projected GDP.

Data showed that last month the ministry sold 4.25 billion yuan and 6.4 tons of gold worth 83 billion rubles (over $1 billion) to finance the budget deficit.

The Chinese currency is currently viewed as the main asset Russia can use for transactions to refill its national wealth fund. Earlier this year, the ministry published a new regulatory structure for NWF assets, which excludes US dollars and establishes flexible shares of other assets.

Under the new terms, the maximum share of the yuan and gold in the NWF has been doubled to 60% and 40% respectively. Meanwhile, balances in the British pound and the Japanese yen have been reduced to zero. Deputy Finance Minister Vladimir Kolychev previously said that the share of the euro in the NWF will also be reduced to zero in 2023, as Moscow decreases its exposure to the currencies of ‘unfriendly’ nations.

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