Tags: russia | ruble | gold | holdings

Russia Expanded Gold Holdings for Eighth Month Amid Ruble Rout

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 10:59 AM

Russia, the world’s fifth-biggest gold holder, added to its holdings for an eighth month even after having to use its international reserves on defending the ruble.

The gold stockpile rose to 38.2 million ounces as of Dec. 1 from 37.6 million ounces a month earlier, the central bank said on its website. Its value in dollar terms fell by $85 million. Total reserves shrank by $9.7 billion in November to $418.9 billion, the lowest level since 2009.

“Physical volumes are increasing but their dollar value is not changing that much because the gold price has fallen,” Vladimir Tikhomirov, chief economist at BCS Financial Group in Moscow, said before the release. “Many central banks are buying gold since the price for gold has fallen.”

The central bank took advantage of lower prices to pad its gold holdings after tapping its reserves to stem the ruble’s decline before the currency crisis escalated this month. An emergency interest-rate increase this week failed to reverse the ruble plunge, stoking speculation that the monetary authority may sell gold to secure the hard currency it needs in the face of sanctions imposed over the conflict in Ukraine.

Gold declined 0.5 percent last month, reaching a four-year low on Nov. 7. The precious metal accounts for about 10 percent of Russia’s total reserves, according to the London-based World Gold Council. That compares with about 71 percent for the U.S. and 66 percent for Germany, the top bullion holders, the data show.


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Russia, the world's fifth-biggest gold holder, added to its holdings for an eighth month even after having to use its international reserves on defending the ruble.
russia, ruble, gold, holdings
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2014-59-19
Friday, 19 Dec 2014 10:59 AM
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