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    RUSSIA'S GOLD AND CURRENCY RESERVES 8.4% UP THIS YEAR

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    MOSCOW, April 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's gold and currency reserves amounted to $83.398 billion as of April 1, 2004 or 8.4% more than on January 1 and 3.4% less than on March 1, the Bank of Russia reported on its official web site on Wednesday.

    As of April 1, the volume of currency in the bank's reserves amounted to $79.639 bln ($73.175 bln as of January 1 and $82.558 bln as of March 1), with foreign currency accounting for $79.636 bln ($73.172 bln and $79.636 bln, respectively), and gold, $3.76 bln ($3.763 bln on January 1 and $3.760 bln on February 1 this year).

    International reserves are highly liquid financial assets at the disposal of the Bank of Russia and the Finance Ministry of Russia as of the reporting date. International reserves consist of monetary gold, special drawing rights (SDR), the reserve standing in the IMF, and foreign currency. Foreign currency includes the currency assets of the Bank of Russia and the Finance Ministry in the form of cash, reverse Repo deals with non-residents, bank deposits in non-resident banks (with the rating of upwards of A by the classification of Fitch IBCA and Standard & Poor's or A2 by the classification of Moody's), as well as state and other securities issued by non-residents with a similar rating.

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