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Russian govt gives go-ahead for piling of National Wealth Fund into gold bullion

“Financial reserves of the NWF can be allocated in the accounts of the Bank of Russia in the form of precious metals, gold in particular, which is traditionally seen as one of the defensive assets,” the cabinet’s press office said.

According to the government, the decision, proposed in late 2020, will allow the diversification of the fund’s investments to ensure their safety and increase the yields of allocations.

The NWF is a part of Russia’s federal budget assets. It was created to support the national pension system, and the funds can also be used to cover budget deficits in times of crisis. As of January 1, the assets of the fund amounted to more than 13.5 trillion ruble, or nearly $184 billion, according to the Ministry of Finance.

In the long-term, precious metals are much more sustainable for investments than financial market assets.

Earlier this year, the Russian Central Bank reported that in 2020 the value of Russia’s gold reserves topped its US dollar holdings for the first time ever. At the end of June 2020, Russia reportedly held $128.5 billion in gold, which accounts for 22.9% of its international reserves, exceeding the value of US dollars in the holdings by nearly $4 billion.

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