Russia to cut share of U.S. dollar in National Wealth Fund

Russian central bank
Russian central bank

Russia will reduce the share of the U.S. dollar in its National Wealth Fund and is considering investing in other foreign currencies including the Chinese yuan, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Vladimir Kolychev said on Wednesday.

The changes to thestructure of the National Wealth Fund, which is part of Russia's sovereignreserves, will come into effect next year, he said.

"I can saywith certainty that the U.S. dollar share will be smaller," Kolychev toldreporters. "Different currencies are being considered… including theyuan."

Russia has stepped up what it calls a de-dollarisation process to reduce its dependence on the greenback when Western countries began imposing sanctions on Moscow over its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Kolychev said themove was in part meant to shield Russian reserves from external risks, but didnot give any indication how drastically the U.S. dollar share of the NationalWealth Fund would be cut.

"Geopoliticalrisks are one of the key factors in determining the structure of the NationalWealth Fund," he said.

Kolychev added that the finance ministry was trying to bring the structure of the National Wealth Fund closer to that of the central bank's foreign currency reserves, where euros account for a larger share than the dollar.

The National WealthFund had $45.5 billion U.S. dollars, 39.17 billion euros and 7.67 billionpounds as of the end of September, according to data from the finance ministry.

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