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Russia Will Keep Purchasing Canada Dollars: Ambassador

Russia plans to keep buying Canadian dollars as part of its foreign-exchange reserves, the country’s ambassador to Canada said.

“It took them some time to convince central bankers in Moscow that Canada can be a safe haven,” Georgiy Mamedov, Russia’s ambassador to Canada, told reporters after a Speakers Forum event in Toronto. “I don’t see any information that would cause me to suggest something other than buying more Canadian dollars.”

With more than $500 billion in its reserves, the world’s fourth largest, Russia is seeking higher returns as it diversifies the holdings by boosting gold purchases and adding Canadian dollars, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in an interview today in Tokyo.

Russia increased its holdings of the loonie in its international reserves to 1.6 percent from 0.8 percent as of January, cutting the euro’s share to 42.1 percent down from 43.1 percent a year earlier.

The nation began adding the Canadian dollar to its international reserves in 2010 to promote the use of regional currencies in international trade and finance to reduce risks posed by the dominance of the U.S. dollar, Alexei Ulyukayev, the central bank’s first deputy chairman, said in an interview on Nov. 25 of that year.

President Dmitry Medvedev in 2009 suggested Russia would reduce its use of the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency after the greenback lost 34 percent of its value against the euro in 2.5 years.

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