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Kazakhstan's Gold Hoard Climbs for 30th Month as Russia Buys

Sunday, 26 Apr 2015 08:47 AM


Kazakhstan increased gold reserves for a 30th straight month as Russia returned to buying after a hiatus, the International Monetary Fund said. Tajikistan reduced assets.

Kazakhstan held 198.4 metric tons in March from 196.1 tons in February, according to data on the IMF website. Russia, the world’s fifth-biggest holder, boosted reserves to 1,238.3 tons from 1,207.7 tons. Tajikistan cut holdings to 8.9 tons last month from 9.5 tons in February.

Gold fell for a second month in March on speculation the Federal Reserve would soon raise interest rates for the first time since 2006. China may have tripled bullion holdings from 1,054 tons it last disclosed in April 2009, Bloomberg Intelligence estimates. Russia bought gold through the last nine months of 2014 and kept its assets unchanged in February. Central banks increased holdings the past five years, a reversal from two decades of selling since the late 1980s.

“It’s for diversification of their foreign exchange reserves,” Helen Lau, an analyst at Argonaut Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong, said by phone. The countries that have been increasing gold assets are “usually the ones with depreciating currencies,” she said.

Bullion for immediate delivery lost 2.4 percent in March as inflows into exchange-traded products declined for the first month this year. Prices sank 1.6 percent to $1,175.35 an ounce on Friday, the lowest level since March 20, before ending at $1,179.

Reserves Tripled

Russia more than tripled its gold hoard since 2005 and holds the most since at least 1993, IMF data show. The country is boosting reserves to diversify foreign reserves and solve issues related to ruble liquidity, central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina said in February.

Kazakhstan’s hoard jumped 33 percent in the past 12 months, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The People’s Bank of China may hold 3,510 tons, according to Bloomberg Intelligence based on trade data, domestic output and China Gold Association figures. The country may update the tally before the IMF’s meetings on the Special Drawing Right, next month or in October, Nomura Holdings Inc. said in an April 8 report.

Belarus’ gold assets climbed to 44.5 tons in March from 41.5 tons a month earlier, while Malaysia boosted holdings to 37 tons from 36.4 tons. The Southeast Asian nation’s hoard is at the highest since January 2000, according to IMF data compiled by Bloomberg. Turkey’s reserves expanded to 513 tons from 510.3 tons.

Countries that reduced bullion holdings include El Salvador and Mexico. El Salvador cut reserves to 1.4 tons last month from 6.8 tons in February, while Mexico’s assets fell to 122.4 tons from 122.5 tons, down for a ninth month, IMF data showed.

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Kazakhstan increased gold reserves for a 30th straight month as Russia returned to buying after a hiatus, the International Monetary Fund said. Tajikistan reduced assets.
gold, russia, precious metal, buy
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2015-47-26
Sunday, 26 Apr 2015 08:47 AM
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