04:23 GMT +3 hours28 November 2014
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Russia to Keep Australian Dollar Reserves From February

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Russia plans to start investing some of its foreign currency reserves into the Australian dollar from February to diversify its international holdings amid global market volatility, Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev said on Thursday.

Russia plans to start investing some of its foreign currency reserves into the Australian dollar from February to diversify its international holdings amid global market volatility, Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev said on Thursday.

Russia previously expected to start investment in the Australian currency in late 2011.

“We have not yet started operations with the Australian dollar but we are ready for this. We have opened accounts and signed agreements. The process will probably start in February,” Ulyukayev said on the sidelines of the forum.

Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev disclosed last summer that the central bank held 47 percent of its international reserves in U.S. dollars, 41 percent in euros, nine percent in British pounds, two percent in the Japanese yen and one percent in Canadian dollars.

Ulyukayev said the low liquidity of other world currencies discouraged the central bank from changing significantly the structure of its international reserves.

“We are not going to seriously change (the structure of reserves) as it is quite convenient. We would like to continue work to diversify our foreign exchange portfolio but there are natural restrictions, such as the low liquidity of the markets of other currencies,” he said.

Russia’s international reserves stood at $498.6 billion as of January 1, 2012.