Russia may switch some of its reserves from U.S. Treasuries to International Monetary Fund bonds, the central bank said today. The comment drove Treasuries and the dollar lower.
Alexei Ulyukayev, first deputy chairman of Russia’s central bank, said some reserves may be moved from Treasuries into IMF debt, reiterating comments made last month by Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin. Ulyukayev’s remarks were confirmed by a Bank Rossii official who declined to be named, citing bank policy.
Treasuries fell, pushing 10-year yields toward the highest level in seven months, in response to Ulyukayev’s statement. The dollar fell against the euro on speculation that Russia will reduce its holdings of U.S. debt.
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About 30 percent of Russia’s international reserves, which stood at $401.1 billion on May 29, are currently held in Treasuries, Ulyukayev said. Kudrin said on May 26 that Russia planned to buy $10 billion of IMF bonds using money from its foreign reserves.
The IMF securities would give countries a different way to contribute to the fund and are unlike traditional bonds because they pay an interest rate pegged to the IMF’s basket of currencies, known as Special Drawing Rights.
China is expected to buy as much as $50 billion of the bonds, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said yesterday.