Russian gold, forex reserves could hit $55 bln

The Central Bank of Russia's gold and foreign-exchange reserves could total approximately $55 billion at the end of 2003 so says a deputy governor of the Bank.

"I don't think the reserves will grow as fast as they did last year because how much foreign exchange enters Russia depends so much on oil prices," Oleg Vyugin, a central bank first deputy chairman, told Interfax. "We'd venture to say that the reserves will be about $55 billion," Vyugin forecast.

He recalled that in 2002, the gold and fo