The Central Bank of Russia has drastically changed the geographical distribution of its assets in foreign currency and in gold.
As the bank informs in its annual report, in 2018 the participation of US assets was considerably reduced: from 29.9% of all Central Bank reserves to 9.7%.
At the same time, the Chinese and Japanese assets of the Central Bank increased considerably from 2.6% to 14.1% and from 1.5% to 7.5%, respectively. In Finland, Russia’s Central Bank share of assets increased from 0.9% to 1.8%.
At the same time, assets in the United Kingdom fell from 7.2% to 6.6% and in Canada from 2.8% to 2.3%. The share of assets in international organizations has not changed, it remains at the level of 3.9%.
In addition, the regulator has halved the participation of its assets in US dollars, from 45.8% to 22.7%. At the same time, the share of assets in yuan increased from 2.8% to 14.2%, in euros from 21.7% to 31.7% and in gold from 17.2% to 18.1%.
“In 2018, the assets in gold of the Bank of Russia increased due to the purchase of gold from Russian credit institutions (270 tons).” On December 31, 2018, its volume amounted to 2,077 tons,” the report details.
In total, at the end of 2018, the volume of Central Bank assets in foreign currency and gold was 473,900 million dollars, of which 385,800 million dollars are assets in foreign currency of the category “international reserves of the Federation of Russia”, 85,600 million dollars are assets in gold and 2,500 million dollars are other assets in foreign currency.
Throughout the year, the assets of the Central Bank of Russia grew by 36,100 million dollars. “The main factor behind its growth was the purchase of foreign currency in the national currency market by the Bank of Russia in relation to the acquisition of foreign currency by the Federal Treasury under the budgetary rule,” explained the bank.
At the same time, the Central Bank highlighted that the growth in assets was partially offset by changes in the exchange rates of the US dollar and the exit of client funds from the accounts in the Bank of Russia.
In January 2019 it was reported that the Central Bank would transfer a fifth of its international reserves of dollars to euros and yuan in the second quarter of 2018. Russia’s investments in US Treasury bonds fell from 96,000 million to less than 15,000 million. This happened after the United States imposed sanctions against Russian billionaires Oleg Deripaska, Viktor Vekselberg, Suleiman Kerimov, head of the VTB bank, Andrey Kostin, head of Gazprom, Alexei Miller and against high-ranking officials and security officials.
Translated by JRE\EF