Russian gold and forex reserves smash historic high

Feb 26, 2022 | BUSINESS

Moscow is boosting its international holdings as a hedge against sanctions risk

Russia’s gold and foreign currency holdings have reached an all-time high of $643.2 billion as of February 18, according to the latest data published by the country’s central bank on Thursday. Reserves have surged $3.6 billion from the previous week, the regulator said, noting that the 0.6% rise was due to a positive market revaluation. 

Russia’s international reserves, which are highly liquid foreign assets held by the Bank of Russia and the country’s government, consist of foreign currency funds, special drawing rights in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and monetary gold.

In 2021, the nation’s forex reserves surged almost 6%.The Central Bank has a $500 billion target level for international reserves. Russia first surpassed this threshold back in 2008 with $598 billion. In the following years, reserves plunged on several occasions – including to as low as $356 billion in 2015 following the 2014 oil price crisis – but have nearly doubled since then.

READ MORE: Russia unveils anti-sanctions shield

In recent years, the Russian government and central bank have reduced the country’s exposure to the US dollar, reshaping its international holdings in favor of other currencies and gold. International rating agencies have previously said that Russia’s financial reserves will allow the country to cope with the negative effects of sanctions.

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