Russia reduces US debt holdings by 40% over past year

Russia held $66.5 billion in US treasury securities in April 2015, down from $116.4 billion in April the previous year.

The amount of US government bonds held by Russia reduced by more than 40 percent in one year, according to figures released by the US Treasury on Monday.

In April 2015, Russia held $66.5 billion in US government debt, down from $69.9 billion in March, and 43 percent less than the $116.4 billion it held in April 2014, when it was the twelfth largest holder of US debt. In April 2014, Russia was the 22nd largest creditor of the US.

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In total, major foreign holders of US government debt in April 2015 held $6.14 trillion, down 0.6 percent from a record $6.18 trillion in March, the first decline since October 2014. China continues to be the largest foreign holder of US treasuries, with $1.26 trillion in holdings, an increase of $2.4 billion from the previous month.

Japan, after briefly surpassing China in March as the largest foreign holder of US securities for the first time since 2008, held $1.22 trillion in April, $11.2 billion less than in March.

Russia was not the only country to dramatically reduce its holdings of US treasuries; from April 2014 to April 2015 Belgium reduced its holdings from $366.4 billion to 228.9 billion.

Over the same period of time, from April 2014 to April 2015, the amount of gold reserves held by the Russian Central Bank rose from $44.3 billion in April 2014, to $48.3 billion in April of this year.

According to figures from the Central Bank, at the end of April 2015 Russia held $365 billion in international reserves, which then increased slightly to $365.8 billion by the end of May. The amount held in foreign currency by the central bank on May 31 was $298.4 billion, and $47.9 billion was held in gold.

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