04:42 GMT +310 December 2018
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    Gold and currency reserves hit $173 bln

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    MOSCOW, December 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's gold and foreign currency reserves have reached $173 billion, a senior Central Bank official said Monday.

    "The gold and foreign currency reserves have been growing fast on the back of a strong positive balance of trade and payments and have reached $173 billion as of today," First Deputy Chairman Alexei Yulyukayev said.

    The reserves have increased by $50 billion since the start of the year and would have grown by $70 billion if not for foreign debt payments.

    The increase in gold and currency reserves has expanded the monetary base by 24%, whereas money supply has increased 40%, according to the bank official.

    Ulyukayev said these changes had promoted higher liquidity in the banking sector but had not stoked inflationary pressures.

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