Russia bets on China with major yuan boost in its foreign currency reserves
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The share of yuan-denominated assets among Russia’s gold and foreign exchange reserves has climbed to 14.2 percent of the country’s $532 billion total holdings, according to central bank data as of the end of March.
Statistics from the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) show Russia’s investments in China increased by 8.7 percentage points over the year. The share of the Japanese yen has also grown sharply, rising from 1.7 percent to 10.2 percent.
Meanwhile, the share of the US dollar, which made up 43.7 percent of Russia’s gold and foreign currency reserves as of April 2018, has fallen significantly to just 23.6 percent.
The decline of dollar-denominated assets and the rise of gold and other foreign currencies in Russia’s reserves have been observed since 2017. Russia has been actively beefing up its bullion and forex funds, diversifying them away from the US dollar. The country’s international reserves have risen to $532.6 billion as of September 20. Gold bullion holdings have reached $109.5 billion.
The state international reserves are highly liquid foreign assets comprising stocks of monetary gold, foreign currencies, and Special Drawing Rights (SDR) assets, which are at the disposal of the Central Bank of Russia and the government.
If Moscow continues boosting its international reserves, which include foreign currencies and monetary gold among other assets, it is poised to overtake Saudi Arabia and become the fourth biggest holder of foreign currency reserves, according to a recent Bloomberg forecast.
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