Russia’s FX Reserves Reach $557bn to Hit Pre-Crisis Level

Russian gold and foreign currency reserves have hit $557.5 billion in the first 10 days of the new year, according to the latest figures released by the country’s central bank, reported.

Since the end of 2019, Moscow has added $7.7 billion to its forex holdings, increasing them by 1.4 percent. As of December 27, they stood at $549.8 billion.

The current level is 10 percent higher than the target level set by the regulator and the highest since October 2008, when foreign reserves amounted to nearly $547 billion. Russia spent a significant part of its reserves supporting the ruble in the aftermath of the financial crisis and after the West hit Moscow with sanctions in wake of the 2014 conflict in Ukraine. Since then, Russia has been rebuilding its forex reserves from the $350 billion low to its current level.

The country’s international reserves are highly liquid foreign assets comprising stocks of monetary gold, foreign currencies, and Special Drawing Right (SDR) assets, which are at the disposal of the Bank of Russia and the government.

Russia has been steadily boosting and reshaping its international holdings, ditching the U.S. dollar in favor of other currencies, including the Chinese yuan and the euro. Moscow has been also extensively investing in gold, with bullion reserves standing at more than $110 billion as of January 1.