Russia is weighing a plan to buy $70 billion in China’s yuan and other ‘friendly’ currencies to weaken the ruble: report

  • Russia is considering a plan to buy up to $70 billion in ‘friendly’ foreign currency, Bloomberg reported.
  • Buying China’s yuan and other currencies could slow the ruble’s sharp rise, central bankers hope. 
  • Moscow is rethinking its FX strategy after sanctions froze half its $640 billion in foreign reserves. 

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Russia is considering buying up to $70 billion in Chinese yuan and other currencies from “friendly” countries to put the brakes on the soaring ruble, according to a Bloomberg report.

The purchases would be part of a broader Kremlin strategy to weaken the Russian currency, the report said Thursday, citing people familiar with the deliberations. 

The ruble plummeted in the immediate aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, as Western countries sanctioned Russia’s banking system. But it has since risen nearly 40% against the dollar, thanks to the Russian central bank’s limits on currency outflows and sharp interest-rate hike, and to earnings from energy exports.

One concern for Moscow is the currency may now be too strong against dollar and the euro. Russia’s finance minister Anton Siulanov said in June the Kremlin was ready to use its foreign-currency reserves to influence the exchange rate.

For years, Russia focused its economic policy on building up foreign-exchange reserves with the likes of the dollar and euro. But it has been working on shifting to other currencies ever since Western sanctions put half of its $640 billion in reserves in a freeze.

“In the new situation, accumulating liquid foreign exchange reserves for future crises is extremely difficult and not expedient,” a presentation of the plan said, per Bloomberg.

The strategy also calls for Russia to start selling its yuan holdings, which would make up the bulk of the purchases, in later years. Turkey’s lira, the South African rand and the United Arab Emirates’ dirham are seen as other “friendly” currencies. 

The Russian central bank did not respond to an Insider request for comment.

Moscow said in June that it is working on a plan to develop a new international reserve currency alongside Brazil, India, China, and South Africa, which haven’t imposed widespread sanctions on the Kremlin.

The ruble climbed 0.83% Thursday, making one dollar worth just over 60 rubles. China’s offshore yuan jumped after news of Russia’s plan broke, but had slipped 0.14% against the greenback at last check.

Read more: Russia wants to weaken the ruble through purchases of ‘friendly’ currencies

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Nicholas ‘Nick’ Statman entered the property industry in 2001 and set up a property buying company that quickly established itself as one of the biggest in the sector. During this time the Company successfully transacted on thousands of residential properties across the UK. Nicholas Statman was an early pioneer of the ‘quick sale’ niche market which has since grown considerably with a multitude of companies now operating in the sector. Nicholas Statman has strategically built a sizeable residential and commercial property portfolio with a view to holding for optimum capital growth and a long term passive income. Nicholas Statman has been involved in almost every aspect of the property sector over a 20 year period – this includes buying and selling, development, letting and management and is now involved in the fast growing online/ hybrid Estate Agent industry.

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