– Russian central bank buys gold – large 600,000 ounces or 18.7 tons of gold in January
– Russia increased its holdings to 1,857 tons, topping the People’s Bank of China’s ‘reported’ 1,843 tons
– Russia surpasses China as 6th largest holder of gold reserves – after U.S., Germany, IMF, Italy and France
– Turkish central bank added 205 tons “over 13 consecutive months” – Commerzbank
– Meanwhile, Russian ally Venezuela is launching a new gold-backed cryptocurrency next week
Russia has overtaken China as the fifth-biggest sovereign holder of gold, allowing it to diversify its foreign currency holdings amid a deepening rift with the US, Bloomberg News’ Eddie van der Walt reported overnight.
The Bank of Russia increased its holdings in January by almost 20 metric tons to 1,857 tons, topping the People’s Bank of China’s reported 1,843 tons. While Russia has increased its holdings every month since March 2015, China last reported buying gold in October 2016. The U.S. is still the largest owner of gold, with 8,134 tons, much of it stored in Fort Knox.
Russia’s central bank continues to add gold to reserves while the People’s Bank of China remains on hold, pointed out Commerzbank.
Analysts cited news that the Russian central bank bought 600,000 ounces, or 18.7 tons, of gold in January as it continued to diversify its reserves. Analysts cite IMF data showing that Turkey also bought large quantities of gold in January at 560,000 ounces or 17.4 tons.
“Thus the Turkish central bank has topped up its gold reserves by a total of 205 tonnes over 13 consecutive months,” Commerzbank added.
Kazakhstan continues to buy gold in small quantities, as it has been doing steadily for years.
This goes some way to plugging the gap left by the Chinese central bank. The PBOC, meanwhile, has not reported the purchase of gold for 15 months in a row.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said yesterday that his government was preparing to launch a new gold-backed cryptocurrency token next week as reported by Reuters.
Venezuela is preparing a new cryptocurrency called “petro gold” that will be backed by precious metals, Maduro said yesterday, a day after launching an oil-backed token.
“I don’t want to get ahead of things, but we have prepared a surprise, a gold-backed ‘petro,’ which will have the same parameters as the oil-backed ‘petro.’ This topic will be raised next week,” Maduro said.
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