Russia becomes leader in dumping dollar
Russia has became one of the main drivers in the process of dedollarization last year, the European Central Bank said in its June report on the strengthening of the role of the euro in the global economy.
According to the authors of the report, Russia has sold off a significant part of dollar reserves, becoming the global leader in this indicator, as well as increased calculations in alternative currencies.
In anticipation of the next round of sanctions, the Bank of Russia sold a significant portion of its dollar reserves, including $100 billion in the second quarter, becoming a global leader in dumping the dollar.
In addition, Russia turned out to be the main buyer of securities denominated in non-standard currencies in 2018 (according to the ECB report, all currencies except the dollar and the euro are 'non-standard').
Head of the State Duma’s Committee for Financial Markets Anatoly Aksakov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that dumping dollar reserves last year primarily allowed Russia to avoid risks of these reserves being subject to sanctions.
"Second, this is a reflection of the growth in commodity turnover with Europe in euro settlements, because when conducting dollar settlements with Europe, Russia falls under the additional risks and losses associated with conversion - first into the dollar, then into the euro. For Europe it was also beneficial, since we mainly buy goods in Europe, it's our largest partner," the expert said.
"The risk of euro fluctuations, the risk of dollar fluctuations, the risk of ruble fluctuations. If there are direct euro-ruble calculations, then, respectively, it is possible to hedge against risks less, which reduces the cost of these operations," Aksakov explained.
The professor at the department of the stock market and investments at the Higher School of Economics, Alexander Abramov, in the first place focused on the fact that dumping dollar reserves last year was Russia's deliberate strategy aimed at reducing the risks of freezing Russian dollar assets.
The expert also stressed that it was a counter-step against the United States in connection with the sanctions. "In economic terms, it has so far caused only losses. Over the past year, the Central Bank suffered losses in its operations largely due to operations with reserves, transferring them into other assets, including gold. We can agree that the dedollarization process is accelerating, but its economic and the financial consequences should be considered. For now they are contradictory," Alexander Abramov said.