Russia’s forex/gold reserves slip by 0.4% w/w in week ending Dec 12

By bne IntelliNews December 19, 2014

The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) forex/gold reserves declined by $1.6bn or 0.4% w/w to $414.6bn in the week ending December 12. In the preceding week, the reserves lost $4.3bn or 1.2% w/w, after remaining flat for three consecutive weeks throughout November.

The rate of decline moderated notably from the $30bn plunge seen from the beginning of October to the beginning of November when the CBR made automatic interventions on the currency market and effectively free floated the ruble. Most recently, President Vladimir Putin at the federal press-conference reiterated the position of the authorities, saying the central bank is not going to “mindlessly burn” the reserves.

In 2013 overall, the reserves decreased by 5.2% reaching $509.6bn as of November 1. In 2012, the reserves recorded a 7.8% y/y growth to $537.62bn. Previously, Fitch expected the reserves to decline to $400bn by end-2015 due to CBR covering forex liquidity shortages. It is likely that the reserves will decline to $400bn-410bn already by the end of 2014.

As of end of November, Russia's international reserves decreased by 18.9% y/y and 2.4% m/m reaching $418.2bn, the CBR has reported. Since the beginning of 2014, forex/gold reserves dropped by 18% ytd or $91bn.

Central Bank of Russia Reserves (USD bn)
  Dec-08 Dec-09 Dec-10 Dec-11 Dec-12 Dec-13 Jan-14 Nov-14
Total Reserves 427.08 436.267 479.379 498.649 537.618 509.595 498.926 418.228
Forex 406.205 402.778 432.948 441.162 473.11 456.447 444.149 361.409
Gold 14.533 22.753 35.788 44.697 51.039 39.99 41.715 45.222
Source: CBR

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