MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, media outlets reported that Russia's Central Bank added the Chinese yuan to the foreign exchange reserve basket. According to sources close to the bank, Russia does not plan purchasing yuan-nominated assets in the near future.
"Diversification of reserves is always good, especially under conditions of increased volatility and instability in financial markets. The Central Bank is unlikely to convert reserves into yuan now, but 10 to 20 percent of them can be in yuans in the future," Alpari group analyst Anna Kokoreva said.
The expert underlined that the volume of the yuan bilateral transactions between Russia and China was small, which was due to the limited circulation of the Chinese currency and strict legislation.
"As soon as the conversion of the yuan and international payments become easier, the currency will quickly begin to gain ground," Kokoreva added.
According to experts, the strengthening of relations between Moscow and Beijing played an important role in the Central Bank’s decision.
"The inclusion of the yuan in the basket of reserve currencies is a landmark event for bilateral relations between China and Russia, toward which were working for a long time. It is important for us that financial transactions will be carried out in national currencies. This creates conditions for their strengthening," Alexander Gusev, the deputy dean of the World Economics department for Higher School of Economics, argued.
Russia’s foreign exchange reserves include 44 percent of US dollars, 42 percent of euros, as well as 9.5 percent of British pounds as of December 31, 2014, according to the Central Bank’s third quarterly report for 2015.
In late October, the International Monetary Fund said it would make a decision on enlarging the Special Drawing Rights currency reserve basket to include the Chinese yuan by November.