Russia reveals record high stockpiles of gold

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Russia’s international reserves surged $1.4 billion in a week, hitting a new historical maximum of $639.6 billion as of January 21, data from the Bank of Russia shows.

The regulator says reserves rose 0.2% as a result of foreign exchange purchases under the fiscal rule that requires surplus revenue to be spent on forex but were partly offset by a negative market revaluation.

Russia’s international reserves, which are highly liquid foreign assets held by the Bank of Russia and the country’s government, consist of foreign currency funds, special drawing rights in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and monetary gold.

The Central Bank has a target level for international reserves of $500 billion. Russia first surpassed this threshold first back in 2008 with $598 billion. In the following years, reserves plunged on several occasions, including to as low as $356 billion in 2015 following the 2014 oil price crisis, but have nearly doubled since then.

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