January 9, 2017 / 7:58 AM / 7 months ago

Russia restores Japanese yen to forex reserves, cuts back on euro

Illustrative picture shows Japanese 10,000 yen bank notes spread out at an office of World Currency Shop in Tokyo in this August 9, 2010 illustrative picture.Yuriko Nakao/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's central bank reinstated the Japanese yen in its international reserves in the second quarter of 2016, while cutting back on the share of euros, the bank said on Monday.

The central bank said it held 2.4 percent of its foreign currency reserves in yen as of June 30, 2016, after mentioning no holdings of the Japanese currency as of March 31 in its previous quarterly report.

Previously, the central bank, which discloses its foreign currency reserves structure with a lag of six months, had reported having less than 1 percent of its reserves stored in yen-denominated assets.

The share of dollars in Russia's currency reserves rose to 48.3 percent as of June 30, 2016, up from 47 percent as of late March 2016, the central bank's data showed on Monday.

The share of euros in the reserves declined to 35.7 percent as of late June, down from 39.1 percent seen in late March, while the share of the British pound went down to 8.8 percent from 9.3 percent.

Canadian dollar assets accounted for 3.7 percent of Russian foreign-currency assets as of mid-2016, versus 3.5 percent three months before.

The share of the Australian dollar remained unchanged over the second quarter at 1.1 percent and the share of the Chinese yuan also stood unchanged at 0.1 percent.

Russia joined a small group of countries, most of them in Asia, which purchased the Chinese currency for their reserves in late 2015 in an attempt to diversify its strategic holdings of foreign assets.

Reporting by Anton Kolodyazhny; Writing by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Christian Lowe

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