MOSCOW, May 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's international reserves, which include foreign exchange and gold, have grown to $402 billion as of May 25, the Central Bank chief said on Thursday.
Sergei Ignatyev told an international banking forum in St. Petersburg that the country's monetary regulator had acquired $30 billion dollars on the domestic market between February 1 and May 25, while international reserves grew from $387 billion to $402 billion over the period.
"Such a small increase in reserves is explained by a considerable reduction in the balances of banks' foreign currency-denominated accounts with the Central Bank," Ignatyev said.
International reserves are highly liquid financial assets managed by the Central Bank of Russia. Apart from foreign currency and gold, Russia's international reserves are also composed of special drawing rights (SDRs), a reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other assets.
The global financial crisis has forced Russia, which receives a large part of its revenues from oil exports, to gradually devalue the ruble amid capital flight and a fall in global oil prices, which declined from their peak of $147 per barrel in July 2008 to around $40 per barrel, before climbing back in recent weeks to above $60.