Russia continues stockpiling forex reserves

The nation’s international holdings stand near a record high

Russia’s gold and foreign currency holdings have reached $634.9 billion as of February 4, according to data published by the country’s central bank.

Reserves have surged $800 million from the previous week, the regulator said, noting that the 0.1% rise was due to a positive market revaluation. The historical maximum of $639.6 billion was recorded last month.

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.

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