Russian gross international reserves (GIR) reach a new post 2008 high, passing the $600bn mark as of the start of August.
“This is x10 Russia’s federal government external debt, which is around $60bn,” says Natalia Gurushina, an economist at VanEk. “Impressive progress in the past 15 years.”
Despite the coronacrisis and the sharp fall in the price of oil, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has continued to accumulate cash in its hard currency reserves over the last few years.
The CBR started this year with $562.3bn in reserves and has managed to add just under $40bn in the first eight months of this year.
Part of the surge in the value of the reserves is due to the spike in prices of gold, which topped $2,000 per ounce this week on the back of global nerves. Until recently the CBR has been aggressively buying gold and building up its reserves of the metal since 2007. Today Russia’s gold reserves make up just under a quarter of its total GIR.