MOSCOW – Russia has been accumulating bar gold in recent years in an attempt to ease its economy’s dependence on the US dollar.
Russia’s international reserves reached $529 billion on August 31, while gold bar stock is now valued at $109.5 billion according to data from the central bank of the country published on Friday.
This move comes as part of its policy of waiving dollar assets in response to US sanctions.
According to the latest calculations, Moscow has increased its precious metals reserve by more than $7.5 billion in one month. Thus, the proportion of gold in the country’s reserves set a new record, rising from 19.6% to 20.7%.
The country continues to increase its international reserves, which have reached their highest levels since February 2013, after growing by about $ 9.2 billion or 1.8% in a month.
Thanks to massive purchases of precious metal, Russia was crowned as the world’s largest buyer of gold last year.
In April 2018, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) made a major change in its policy as it began to drastically divest its US-denominated assets in reaction to pressure from sanctions imposed by Washington.
In an attempt to further reduce dependence on the US currency , the Slavic country has been actively investing in gold, becoming last year the number one country in terms of precious metal procurement – a leadership it maintained in the first quarter of 2019.
If Moscow continues to boost its international reserves, which include foreign currencies and monetary gold, among other assets, it is poised to overtake Saudi Arabia and replace it as the fourth largest holder of foreign currency reserves, according to one forecast by Bloomberg
The first places in the international rankings are occupied by China, Japan and Switzerland.
Growing stocks would likely provide Russia with greater influence within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and stabilize its national currency, the ruble, even in the event of falling oil prices, experts predict.