Gold News

Which Central Banks Are Buying Gold?

THERE IS growing speculation over which nations' central banks have been Buying Gold, after data from the World Gold Council showed a jump in official gold purchases during the third quarter of the year.

A total of 148 tonnes of gold was purchased by central banks worldwide in Q3 2011, according to the WGC's latest Gold Demand Trends. This compares to 76 tonnes over the whole of 2010.

Official data from the International Monetary Fund identify a number of those countries whose central banks were Buying Gold in the third quarter – identifying the buyers of around 20 tonnes of gold, according to news agency Reuters.

However, Reuters says, there is a "mysterious discrepancy of nearly 130 tonnes" – suggesting there were other central banks Buying Gold in Q3 other than those whose purchases have been made public.

"We believe it to be multiple central banks," Marcus Grubb, the WGC's managing director, investment, said on Thursday.

"The buyers...tend to be the surplus countries in Latin America, Central Asia and of course the Far East. We suspect the buying is coming from those central banks."

A number of emerging market countries are known to have been Buying Gold this year. Mexico bought 99.2 tonnes between February and April – of which it has since sold around 0.8 tonnes – according to WGC data. 

Russia has been Buying Gold every month since April 2007, WGC data show. These have mainly been domestic market purchases. Russia's official net gold purchases Since April 2007 total 439.4 tonnes.

South Korea meantime is known to have bought around 25 tonnes of Gold Bullion earlier this year.

"Central bank buying tends to follow a different heartbeat than pure investment purchases of gold," says Grubb.

"It is often based on targets set earlier in the year on gold as a proportion of foreign exchange reserves."

Thinking of Buying Gold for your own personal reserves?...

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