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Russia boosted yuan holdings over dollar just before invasion

Shift in foreign currency reserves made to minimize fallout from sanctions

People walk past the Russia Central Bank headquarters in Moscow.   © Reuters

BERLIN/TOKYO -- Russia rebalanced its foreign currency reserves before invading Ukraine, devoting a larger share to the Chinese yuan over the U.S. dollar in an apparent attempt to reduce Moscow's exposure to economic sanctions.

The dollar accounted for 11% of Russia's currency reserves in January, the country's central bank said, down from 21% a year earlier. During that span, the yuan's ratio rose 4 points to 17%. The euro made up 34% of the reserves in January while gold accounted for 22%.

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