MOSCOW – The share of yuan-denominated assets in Russia’s international reserves rose last year to about 15 percent, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said.
“Last year, we increased the share of Chinese assets in our reserves. Approximately 15% [of total] investments of our gold and foreign currency reserves are denominated in yuan,” the minister said in an interview with the Russian television channel RT.
“That was not happening before,” Siluanov added.
Since 2017 there has been a decline in dollar-denominated assets and an increase in the share of gold and other foreign currencies in Russia’s reserves.
In the past two years, Russia has reduced its dollar-denominated securities, currencies and other dollar-denominated stocks from more than $92 billion to just $12.14 billion in April 2019.
At the same time, earlier this month, the Russian Central Bank announced that the country’s currency and gold reserves reached approximately the equivalent of 502.7 billion dollars on June 7, growing about 1.5% since the beginning of the year.
Along with the yuan, Russia has boosted the purchase of a number of other currencies, including the Japanese yen, the euro, the pound sterling, the Canadian and Australian dollars and the Swiss franc.
Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina previously explained that Russia’s diversification of assets was taking place in an attempt to reduce the economic and political risks the country faces, including but not limited to US sanctions.
Amid its policy of dedollarization, in April 2019 the Russian Central Bank got rid of $ 1.6 billion of US government bonds, reducing its investments in that asset by about 87 percent in just one year.
In April 2019, Russia reduced its investments in US Treasury securities worth almost $ 1.6 billion, according to data released by the US Treasury.
China continues to be the leader of the ranking, with bonds worth $ 1.13 trillion. Japan is in second place with 1.06 trillion. Brazil ranks third, with bonds valued at 306.7 billion dollars.