In 2018, the Russian Central Bank bought up nearly 275 tonnes of monetary gold, in a bid to further replenish the country’s gold and foreign exchange reserves.
Russia’s gold and forex reserves have hit the 487.8 billion dollars mark, breaking a five-year record on 1 April, when the figure stood at 486 billion dollars, according to the Russian Central Bank’s fresh data.
This comes as the bank continued its record-breaking streak of gold purchases into the first two months of 2019, bringing Russia’s total gold reserves to nearly 2,150 tonnes.
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Gold already accounts for close to 20 percent of Russia’s total foreign exchange reserves, with the dollar dropping from a whopping 46 percent of reserves in mid-2017 to 22 percent in 2019.
Last year, Russia surpassed China to become the country with the fifth-largest gold reserves, with its bullion shopping spree seeing holdings approach third and fourth place Italy and France, who have 2,451.8 and 2,436 tonnes of gold, respectively according to the World Gold Council.
The United States and Germany possessing 8,133.5 tonnes and 3,369.7 tonnes, respectively hold the first two positions.
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Russian Central Bank head Elvira Nabiullina has repeatedly stated that the regulator pursues a policy of diversifying the investments of international reserves, taking into account all the risks, including financial, economic and geopolitical ones.