Russian demand for China's currency has surged 8x with ruble-yuan trading volumes at record highs

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (right.)
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP
  • Russia's appetite for the Chinese yuan has grown eightfold since May 20, Reuters first reported.

  • Meanwhile, ruble-yuan trading volume hit a record high of about $703 million this week.

  • Moscow said last week it wants to weaken the ruble through purchases of "friendly" currencies.

Russians are embracing the Chinese yuan as Western sanctions on Moscow spur a drive to diversify away from the dollar and euro.

Purchases of the yuan have jumped eightfold since May 20, when Russia's central bank eased foreign exchange restrictions, state bank Otkritie said, according to Reuters.

"The Chinese yuan has shown stability and relatively low volatility in recent years, and it can become the main tool for diversifying forex savings," Aliya Zubkova, Otkritie's deputy head of forex, told Reuters.

Russian have also stepped up purchases of the British pound and Swiss franc by two-and-a-half times, while dollars and euros saw less demand, according to Otkritie.

Meanwhile, the Moscow Exchange said ruble-yuan trading volume hit an all-time high this week of 44.3 billion rubles, or about $703 million. Ruble-yuan trading first started in 2013, and daily trading volume hit 25 billion rubles in April.

Last week, Russia's finance minister said the country is weighing weakening the ruble by purchasing "friendly" currencies to influence its exchange rate

The ruble has soared to seven-year highs against the dollar thanks in large part to the Russian central bank's curbs on currency outflows and steep interest rate hike after the invasion of Ukraine.

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