Sharp Increase In Central Bank Gold Reserves – South Korea Up 17 Fold & Thailand 15.5% In 2 Months
by Tyler Durden
Further confirmation in the continuing stealth accumulation of bullion by central banks came overnight with confirmation that South Korea’s central bank bought 25 tonnes of gold over the past two months. The gold is worth $1.24 billion and resulted in a 17 fold increase in their gold reserves.
Thailand’s gold reserves rose by 15.5% in the two months and rose to about 4.07 million ounces in June, from about 3.523 million ounces in May, according to figures on the Bank of Thailand’s website accessed by Bloomberg this morning.
South Korea is the world’s seventh-biggest foreign-exchange reserve holder and 64% of its reserves are in U.S. dollars. The bank said that it also holds euros and other assets and the move was about achieving diversification.
The BOK’s reserves, stored in London in the vaults of the Bank of England, increased 25 tonnes to 39.4 tonnes (from 14.4 tonnes) but remain meager when compared to the size of their foreign exchange reserves.
BOK’s gold holdings, at today’s market prices, account for 0.7% of its reserves, up from 0.2% prior to the purchase.
The BOK reserves were at a record high of $311.03 billion at the end of July which puts this $1.25 billion gold purchase in perspective.
Their gold reserves and those of other Asian central banks, particularly the People’s Bank of China, remain meager when compared to those of western central banks and the U.S.
Earlier this year, Thailand, whose gold holdings account for only 2.9 percent of reserves, bought 9.3 tonnes of gold. Russia purchased 41.8 tonnes and Mexico bought 99.2 tonnes.