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Dollar to be dropped from National Wealth Fund structure within one month, says minister

Russian Finance Ministry has decided to reduce the funds of the NWF invested in dollar assets and replace them by an increase in the euro and gold
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov
© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

ST. PETERSBURG, June 3. /TASS/. Russia plans to fully abandon the US greenback in the structure of the National Wealth Fund (NWF) and reduce the share of the British pound within a month, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov revealed on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday, adding that the share of euro and yuan will rise, gold will be added, but the portfolio of Japanese yen will remain unchanged in the NWF.

"We, just like the Central Bank, have decided to reduce the funds of the NWF invested in dollar assets. Today’s structure has around 35% of the NWF’s funds invested in dollars. We have decided to fully withdraw from dollar assets, replacing investments in dollars by an increase in the euro, in gold," he said, adding that the shift to a new structure of the NWF is expected within a month.

"[Investments] in dollars will equal 0%; in euro they’ll come to 40%; in yuan they’ll amount to 30%; in gold - 20%; and in pounds and yuan - 5% each. We have substituted dollars with an increase of 5% in euro, gold and yuan," the finance chief explained.

"The Central Bank is the operator (regarding gold purchases - TASS). It operates its gold and currency reserves and defines the structure of its assets for the National Wealth Fund and the share of the National Wealth Fund in those assets itself," he said.

Currently, the share of the greenback and the EU’s currency in the NWF stands at 35%, with the yuan’s share at 15%, the sterling pound at 10%, and the yen at 5%.

Russian investment in the US public debt

Russia began to sharply reduce investment in the US public debt in the spring of 2018. Thus, in April 2018 it decreased from $96 bln to $48.7 bln, and in May - to $14.9 bln. In August 2019, for the first time since February, Russia increased its investments in US government securities to $9.3 bln. Meanwhile, in March 2020, Russia cut investments in the US government stocks more than three-fold compared with February - from $12.58 bln to $3.85 bln. In April, investments were increased again to $6.85 bln due to short-term bonds. In May 2020, Moscow cut investments from $6.85 bln to $5.39 bln.

According to the latest figures provided by the US Department of the Treasury, Russia reduced investments in US public securities from $5.756 bln in February to $3.976 bln in March.

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, organized by the Roscongress Foundation, is taking place on June 2-5. The topic of this year’s forum is "Together Again - Economy of New Reality". TASS is the information partner and the official photo hosting agency of SPIEF.