Central Bank Recalculates Reserves

The fall in the value of Russia's gold and forex reserves, down by $62 billion from Oct. 3 to Oct. 31, slowed in the last week of October after the Central Bank moved to change its calculation technique.

The Central Bank said Thursday that it had changed the reserves calculation method to include the Central Bank's assets placed in foreign banks part-owned by Russian banks.

The Central Bank said the reserves fell to $484.6 billion on Oct. 31 from $487 billion on Oct. 24, based on the new calculation method. The reserves stood at $484.7 billion on Oct. 24, based on the old method.

In the statement, the Central Bank did not disclose the latest figure based on the old calculation method.

The Central Bank said in a statement that the new technique was in line with the international guidelines for calculation of reserves but was not available for further comment.

The Central Bank's announcement suggested that it could include assets it holds in foreign subsidiaries of Russian banks such as VTB Europe, a subsidiary of state-controlled lender VTB.

The Central Bank also said Thursday that it would compensate Sberbank, the nation's biggest lender, MDM Bank and the Russian unit of Raiffeisen International Bank Holding for some losses incurred in interbank operations.

The institution also offered to sign similar agreements with Alfa Bank and other banks including VTB Group, Gazprombank and Rosselkhozbank, an agricultural bank, it said on Thursday.

"It's a measure to help the liquidity be spread more evenly around," Elina Rybakova, the chief economist at Citigroup in Moscow said Thursday.

(Reuters, Bloomberg)