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Russia Cuts Euro’s Share in Reserves to 42.1%, Raises Dollar

Russia cut the euro’s share in its international reserves to 42.1 percent as of Jan. 1, 2012, down from 43.1 percent a year earlier, the central bank said.

The U.S. dollar’s share was increased to 45.5 percent from 45.2 percent, while the Canadian dollar’s portion was raised to 1.6 percent from 0.8 percent, according to the central bank’s annual report submitted to the lower house of parliament and obtained by Bloomberg. The British pound accounted for 9.2 percent at the end of 2011, compared with 9.3 percent a year earlier, while the yen made up 1.6 percent of the total, unchanged from 2010.

With $523 billion in reserves, the world’s fourth largest, Russia sought to diversify its holdings by adding the Canadian dollar to the stockpile in 2010, boosting gold purchases and planning to expand into the Australian dollar.

The sovereign credit grades of euro members are under pressure, eroding the common currency’s appeal, as policy makers struggle to rein in government debt levels while growth slows and joblessness mounts. The International Monetary Fund said Dec. 30 that the greenback’s share of global foreign-exchange reserves rose in the third quarter by the most since 2008.

As in 2010, Russia also held a small amount of assets denominated in Swiss francs, according to the central bank.

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