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Asunto:[CeHuNews] 22/06 - Good Bye Mr Dollar Welcome Mr Gold and Mr Euro
Fecha:Sabado, 10 de Junio, 2006  23:39:07 (+0000)
Autor:Alexander von Humboldt <cehumboldt>

Russia Shifts Part of Its Forex Reserves from Dollars to Euros


On Thursday, June 8, Russia became the latest in the list of 
countries that shifted a part of its Central Bank reserves from the 
dollar. Sergei Ignatyev, chairman of the Central Bank, said that only 
50 percent of its reserves are now held in dollars, with 40 percent 
in euros and the rest in pounds sterling. Earlier it was believed 
that just 25-30 percent of Russia's reserves were held in euros, with
virtually all the rest held in dollars.

Russia's gold and foreign currency reserves have grown rapidly over
the last few years in tandem with high oil and gas prices. As MosNews
has reported earlier, Russia currently has the world's fourth-largest
reserves, after China, Japan and Taiwan, and it looks to overcome
Taiwan by the end of the year, with reserves growing by $5-6 billion

The Russian Central Bank's move ties in with increasing signs that
Middle Eastern oil exporters are also looking to diversify their
reserves out of the dollar. "This is a bearish development for the
dollar," Chris Turner, head of currency research at ING Financial
Markets, told the British Financial Times. "It reminds us that global
surpluses are accumulating to the oil exporters,and Russia is telling
us that an increasingly lower proportion of these reserves will be
held in dollars. This suggests there is a trend shift away from the

Clyde Wardle, senior Emerging Market Currency strategist at HSBC, 
told the paper: "We have heard talk that Middle Eastern countries are 
doing a similar thing and even some Asian countries have indicated 
their desire to do so."

Moscow's move was unsurprising. Russia's $71.5billion Stabilization
fund, which accumulates windfall oil revenues, is due to be converted
from rubles to 45 percent dollars, 45 percent euros and 10 percent
sterling. The day-to-day movements of the ruble are monitored against
a basket of 0.6 dollars and 0.4 euros. About 39 percent of Russia's
goods imports came from the eurozone in 2005, against just 4 percent
from the US.

The statement plays into a perception that central banks, which
together hold $4.25 trillion of reserves, are increasingly channeling
fresh reserves away from the dollar to reduce potential losses if the
dollar was to fall sharply.

( A-List)

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