Russian National Wealth Fund to Abandon all Assets in USD

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ST PETERSBURG, June 3 Reuters Russias National Wealth Fund NWF will sell off all its U.S. dollar assets, increasing the share of its holdings in euros, Chinese yuan and gold, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Thursday, with the changes expected within a month.

Russia has gradually reduced its dollar holdings since the imposition of Western sanctions following Moscows annexation of Crimea in 2014, and has sought to partially decouple from the Western financial system.

Like the central bank, we have decided to reduce investments of the NWF in dollar assets, Siluanov said at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum SPIEF.

After the changes, the fund will hold 40 of its assets in euros, 30 in yuan and 20 in gold. The Japanese yen and British pound will account for 5 each, Siluanov said.

The move implies selling 40 billion in favour of gold, yuan and euro, ING said.

Russias NWF, which accumulates Russias oil revenue and was initially designed to support the pension system, stood at 185.9 billion as of May 1. It forms part of Russias gold and FX reserves that totalled 600.9 billion on May 27.

The move to ditch U.S. dollars from the National Wealth Fund will not affect the rouble exchange rate, First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov said.

The effect of dedollarisation will be determined by whether the central bank replaces dollars with euros or other foreign exchange in the NWF, or if it changes its forex reserve structure, said Tim Ash at BlueBay…

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