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Russia’s international reserves drop to $414.6 bln over week

December 18, 2014, 16:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW
In late December 2013, international reserves amounted to $511.6 billion
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© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

MOSCOW, December 18. /TASS/. Russia’s international reserves mostly comprising gold and foreign currency fell by $1.6 billion in the week of December 5-12 to $414.6 billion, the Central Bank of Russia reported on Thursday.

Russia’s international reserves are highly liquid foreign assets managed by the Central Bank of Russia. They comprise foreign currency, Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), a reserve position in the International Monetary Fund and monetary gold.

Russia’s international reserves have hit their minimum since the start of this year: in late December 2013, they amounted to $511.6 billion.

Russia also has two oil wealth funds - the National Welfare Fund ($79.9 billion or 5.5% of GDP) and the Reserve Fund ($88.91 billion or 6.1% of GDP).

According to the Central Bank’s data, the regulator has spent about $75 billion in the first eleven months of this year to defend the ruble or about 5% of GDP.

Therefore, the volume of the Central Bank’s foreign currency funds spent on supporting the ruble exchange rate, excluding December, can be compared to twice the amount of Russia’s debt on external bonds ($39.3 billion) and 1.5 times the amount of the country’s sovereign foreign debt ($53.7 billion).

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