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Russian moves on dollar - Jun 10

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RTS launches ruble-contracts in oil, oil products and gold

RIA Novosti
The Russian Trading System, the country's premier stock market, starts Thursday trading in ruble-settled contracts for gold, oil and oil products, the RTS said.

"Russia's first trading in contracts for gold, crude, and oil products will start beginning June 8," the RTS said.

President Vladimir Putin said in his May 10 state of the nation address that Russia, as a leading oil exporting nation, should establish its own oil exchange to trade crude and petroleum products for rubles.
(8 June 2006)

Russia fixes $65.2 price for first rubles oil deal

RIA Novosti
The Russian Trading System, Russia's premier stock market, announced Thursday the first futures contract on Urals oil blend had been concluded at $65.2 per barrel and the trade in gold futures had started.

The first oil deal was denominated in rubles (1751 rubles) based on prices calculated by the Platts agency and covered 10 barrels. The settlement period for the contract is one month and the security guarantee on the contract is 10% of its overall value. RTS collects a 1-ruble commission for each concluded contract.
(8 June 2006)

Russia Shifts Part of Its Forex Reserves from Dollars to Euros

On Thursday, June 8, Russia became the latest in the list of countries that shifted a part of its Central Bank reserves out of dollar. Sergei Ignatyev, chairman of the Central Bank, said that only 50 percent of its reserves are now held in dollars, with 40 percent in euros and the rest in pounds sterling. Earlier it was believed that just 25-30 percent of Russia’s reserves are held in euros, with virtually all the rest held in dollars.

Russia’s gold and foreign currency reserves have grown rapidly over the last few years in tandem with high oil and gas prices. As MosNews has reported earlier, Russia currently has the world’s fourth-largest reserves, after China, Japan and Taiwan, and it looks to overcome Taiwan by the end of the year, with reserves growing by $5-6 billion monthly.

Russian Central Bank’s move ties in with increasing signs that Middle Eastern oil exporters are also looking to diversify their reserves out of the dollar. “This is a bearish development for the dollar,” Chris Turner, head of currency research at ING Financial Markets, told the British Financial Times. “It reminds us that global surpluses are accumulating to the oil exporters, and Russia is telling us that an increasingly lower proportion of these reserves will be held in dollars. This suggests there is a trend shift away from the dollar.”
(9 June 2006)

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