A recent survey conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation has revealed that the Chinese yuan has become the most popular foreign currency for savings among Russians. The respondents were presented with a hypothetical scenario in which they were given a large sum of money in rubles and asked to choose a foreign currency in which to convert and store it in a savings account for five years. Approximately 32% of the respondents favored the Chinese yuan as their preferred currency, followed by the euro at 26% and the US dollar at 23%.
The survey also found that the preference for the Chinese yuan is consistent across most age groups, with the exception of young people. Russians under the age of 30 are more likely to choose euros (34%) or dollars (36%) for their savings, while the Chinese yuan received only 32% of the votes in this age group. However, among Russians with university degrees, the Chinese yuan is the first choice for 41% of respondents.
In addition to the Chinese yuan, other foreign currencies that made the top five choices for savings among Russians include the British pound (3%) and the Turkish lira (2%). There were also mentions of the Arab dirham, Swiss franc, Japanese yen (each receiving around 2% of the votes), as well as the Israeli shekel and Iranian rial (each with 1%).
Despite the popularity of foreign currencies for savings, the majority of Russians still prefer to keep their savings in rubles. 61% of the respondents stated that they would choose to keep their savings in rubles rather than opting for a foreign currency if given the choice.
The survey also touched upon the ruble’s exchange rate, and half of the respondents stated that they believed a stronger ruble against Western currencies would benefit the Russian economy. They believed it could help lower prices (9%) and improve the living standards of Russians (5%). Only 16% of respondents believed that a weaker ruble would be more beneficial for the economy.
Earlier this week, the Russian ruble experienced a drop to a 16-month low against the dollar and the euro. However, it was able to recover some of its losses later in the week after the Bank of Russia implemented a key interest rate hike to 12%.
Overall, the survey highlights the growing preference for the Chinese yuan as a savings currency among Russians, and sheds light on the varying preferences across different age groups and educational backgrounds. Meanwhile, the resilience of the Russian ruble in the face of recent fluctuations reflects the efforts made by the Bank of Russia to stabilize the currency and support the country’s economy.
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