Russia's gold & foreign currency reserves surge by over $5 billion

Russia’s foreign exchange holdings increased to a total of $591.5 billion on February 12, the latest data released by the country’s central bank shows.

The weekly growth amounted to $5.4 billion or 0.9 percent, the regulator said, adding that it was driven by “positive exchange rate revaluation and higher gold prices.” Last week marked the first growth of Russia’s international reserves this month after two consecutive weeks of decline.

The holdings, which are highly liquid foreign assets comprising stocks of monetary gold, foreign currencies and Special Drawing Rights (SDR) assets, have been steadily growing in recent years and are almost $100 billion above the half-trillion-dollar target set by the central bank. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the reserves surged by over $40 billion last year.

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Russia has also been boosting its share of gold and simultaneously cutting its share of the US dollar in its forex holdings. In 2019, its share of bullion holdings surpassed US dollar holdings for the first time. According to the county’s regulator, its share of the greenback decreased to 22.2 percent, while its gold share jumped to 22.9 percent over the year to June 30.

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