Having invested 17% of foreign exchange reserves in the yuan, the Russian authorities found that it was simply impossible to withdraw funds from Chinese assets.
The sale of the yuan, in which more than $100 billion in reserves had been invested as of January 1, requires a separate agreement with China. This is stated in the presentation of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, prepared for a meeting with members of the government on the future of gold reserves and plans to fill them with “friendly” currencies.
According to a document cited by Bloomberg, the authorities are discussing the possibility of buying yuan and other “soft” currencies for $70 billion. At the same time, the Central Bank admits that after the imposition of sanctions and a ban on transactions with dollars and euros, it is not easy to find assets for gold reserves.
The choice comes down to a few “friendly” countries. But the Turkish lira cannot get out of the “corkscrew” of chronic devaluation and has lost 90% of its value in 10 years. The UAE dirham is subject to “political risks,” the Central Bank notes: American officials have frequented the emirates, who demand not to turn Dubai into a hub to circumvent sanctions.
Only the yuan remains, but there are problems with it: it is relatively easy to invest in Chinese assets, but not to withdraw it back. This requires the permission of the Chinese authorities, and “it will be very difficult to obtain in a crisis,” writes the Central Bank.
In the Chinese “trap” were the last non-frozen reserves of Russia. Of the $640 billion that the Central Bank had before the start of the war, about half fell under the first wave of Western sanctions. These are dollars, euros, Japanese yen, British pounds, as well as Australian and Canadian dollars.
Central Bank gold – 2.3 thousand tons, which is the fifth largest gold reserve in the world – fell under separate US sanctions in April. And although the bars are stored in Russia and cannot be arrested, it is hardly possible to sell them abroad “secretly”: Russian gold has characteristic impurities that will unambiguously show the country of origin of the metal