According to a Bloomberg article by Natasha Doff, Russia’s holdings of U.S. government debt have been cut in half, to US$ 48.7 billion. The move was described as being about “keeping the money safe” from America.
Times are a-changin’. Russia, just like a growing number of other countries around the world, is rethinking what counts as a haven asset as it duels with the U.S.
Although investors usually seek safety in U.S. debt, Russia cut its holdings of Treasuries nearly in half in April as Washington slapped the harshest sanctions to date on a selection of Russian companies and individuals. In a shift Danske Bank A/S attributed to a deepening “geopolitical standoff,” Russia is instead keeping up its purchases of gold.
Source: Bloomberg / Danske Bank research note published June 20
“Some people ask whether the Russian central bank sold them to support the ruble in April, but it’s about changing allocation as reserves continue to grow,” said Vladimir Miklashevsky, a senior economist at Danske Bank in Helsinki. “Rising U.S. yields have fueled the sell-off.”