Russia continues to stockpile gold and foreign currency
The country holds the fifth largest foreign exchange reserves
Russian currency holdings rose 0.7% in the week ending Dec. 24, reaching $ 630.5 billion, according to the latest central bank data. Russia holds the world’s fifth largest foreign exchange reserves.
In monetary terms, the weekly growth of the country’s international reserves totaled $ 4.2 billion, the regulator said. The increase is believed to have occurred as a result of planned foreign currency purchases and a positive market revaluation.
Russia’s international reserves are highly liquid foreign assets consisting of monetary gold, foreign currencies and special drawing rights, which are at the disposal of the Central Bank of Russia and the government.
In 2015, reserves fell to a low of $ 356 billion after 2008, after the government had to spend around $ 250 billion to bail out the economy during the 2014 oil price crisis.
Since then Russia’s holdings of gold and foreign exchange have almost doubled. They exceeded the target level of $ 500 billion set by the regulator in June 2019 and have remained above this threshold since.
In 2020, holdings jumped 7.5% to $ 595.8 billion despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy, which has forced the government to increase spending to support businesses and households.
Reserves reached a record high of $ 626.3 billion last month alone, marking a weekly growth of $ 4.1 billion.
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