The FX and gold reserves of the Central Bank of Russia topped $450bn as of January 26, adding over $10bn week-on-week, the regulator said on February 1. This marks the highest value of CBR reserves since the meltdown that followed the collapse of oil prices in October 2014, after which Russia’s gross international reserves (GIR) dropped to $350bn.
In June 2017, the head of the CBR Elvira Nabiullina told the State Duma that the regulator is ready to increase the FX/gold reserves to $500bn, given favourable conditions such as stable inflation and since then has reiterated the target.
Most recently Moody's Investors Service forecasted that in 2018 the CBR will be able to boost the reserves by $40bn, as the economy is expected to grow by 1.6% (below official target of 2% for 2018) and inflation to accelerate back to the central bank’s target of 4%.
Foreign currency includes the foreign currencies of the central bank and the finance ministry in paper money, reverse repo agreements with non-residents, accounts with foreign banks rated at least A by Fitch and Standard & Poor’s and at least A2 by Moody’s, as well as government or other bonds issued by non-residents with similar ratings.