Clyde Wardle, senior Emerging Market Currency strategist at HSBC, told the paper: “We have heard talk that Middle Eastern countries are doing a similar thing and even some Asian countries have indicated their desire to do so.”
Moscow’s move was unsurprising. Russia’s $71.5billion Stabilization fund, which accumulates windfall oil revenues, is due to be converted from rubles to 45 percent dollars, 45 percent euros and 10 percent sterling. The day-to-day movements of the ruble are monitored against a basket of 0.6 dollars and 0.4 euros. About 39 percent of Russia’s goods imports came from the eurozone in 2005, against just 4 percent from the US.
The statement plays into a perception that central banks, which together hold $4.25 trillion of reserves, are increasingly channeling fresh reserves away from the dollar to reduce potential losses if the dollar was to fall sharply.