Russia Buys 18.6 Tonnes Of Gold In June – Currency Wars Intensify

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
By Paul Martin

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan Buy Gold – Bye Bye Petrodollar
Russia continues to aggressively accumulate gold reserves. Its gold holdings increased again in June as the crisis in the Ukraine and relations with the West deteriorated.

The Russian central bank officially increased its gold holdings by 16.8 tonnes to 1,094.8 tonnes in June, the IMF’s International Financial Statistics report showed. In ounce terms, Russia increased its gold holdings by some 500,000 ounces, to 35.197 million ounces in June from 34.656 million ounces in May.

Russia recently became the world’s fifth largest bullion holder after the United States, Germany, Italy and France.

Importantly, China’s gold holdings, the world’s biggest store of wealth buyer of gold, haven’t been updated since March, 2009 and remain at just 33.89 million ounces or 1,054.1 tonnes and just 1% of their huge foreign exchange reserves. More than five years later, it is likely that China’s reserves have doubled or trebled as they quietly corner the global physical gold market.

It is important to note that there remain doubts as to the integrity of the gold holdings of the U.S. and concerns that other countries national gold reserves could be encumbered, loaned or sold in the market. Indeed, the Bundesbank is having grave difficulty in having its gold reserves returned from the Federal Reserve in New York.

So far in 2014, Russia has now bought substantially more than their entire annual gold production of nearly 1,500,000 ounces.

Russia was not the only central bank to diversify foreign exchange reserves, primarily held in dollars, into gold. Allies of Russia also bought gold in June. The central banks of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, all Russian economic and military allies all accumulated gold in June.

Currency wars are set to intensify and the buying by the former Soviet states is another manifestation of this.

Russia’s foreign reserves fell $39 billion to $472 billion in June, data from the Russian central bank shows. Gold now accounts for 9.3% of the country’s reserves, according to the World Gold Council substantially less than the percentage of gold in fx reserves of the other leading gold owners.

Greece, Serbia, Mexico and Equador also diversifed and increased their gold reserves in June.

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