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U.S. Cedes Top Spot in Russian Reserves to France for First Time

France leapfrogged the U.S. as the top destination for the Russian central bank’s investments, dethroning America for the first time and underlining the challenge faced by Europe as it weighs sanctions over Ukraine.

The amount of reserves in French assets, including government bonds and deposits, rose to 32 percent as of June 30, a jump of 4 percentage points from three months earlier, the central bank said in a quarterly report on its website today. Bank Rossii decreased investments in the U.S. to 29.7 percent from 33.8 percent in the period, and the portion of German assets shrank to 19.3 percent. U.K. and Japanese holdings rose.