Russia, Greece, Turkey, Other Central Banks Buy Gold; China’s PBOC Buying?

Tyler Durden's picture


From GoldCore

Russia, Greece, Turkey, Other Central Banks Buy Gold; China’s PBOC Buying?

Today is a national holiday in the United Kingdom and the USA. 
Friday’s AM fix was USD 1,385.25, EUR 1,068.95 and GBP 917.81 per ounce. 

Gold climbed $5 on Friday and closed at $1,390.25/oz in London and silver closed at 22.482 in NY. 

Gold rose 0.45% this morning in quiet European trading with UK and U.S. markets closed for holidays. Silver, platinum and palladium also advanced this morning.

Gold’s gains come on the back of the best week in a month last week when gold rose 2%.

Gold is being supported by continued diversification from central banks and signs of increased physical demand which is countering continued outflows in ETF holdings. 

Gold Price (Nominal) and Central Bank Net Buying/ Selling (1971-2013)

Russia, Greece, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan expanded their gold reserves for a seventh straight month in April, buying bullion to diversify foreign exchange reserves due to concerns about the dollar and the euro.

Russia’s steady increase in its gold reserves saw its holdings, the seventh-largest by country, climb another 8.4 metric tons to 990 tons, taking gains this year to 3.4% after expanding by 8.5% in 2012, International Monetary Fund data show. 

Kazakhstan’s reserves grew 2.6 tons to 125.5 tons, taking the increase to 8.9% this year after a 41% expansion in 2012, data on the website showed.

Turkey’s holdings rose 18.2 tons to 427.1 tons in April, increasing for a 10th month as it accepted gold in its reserve requirements from commercial banks. 

Belarus’s holdings expanded for a seventh month as did Azerbaijan’s.

Interestingly, Greece’s gold holdings climbed for a fourth month, according to the IMF data. 

This could be a sign of rising economic nationalism in Greece or that the Greek central bank realises that if Greece leaves the euro and is forced back onto the drachma that gold reserves will offer a modicum of protection. Only a modicum, because Greece’s gold reserves remain miniscule especially considering the scale of their debts.  

IMF Greece Gold Reserves, Quarterly 01Jan1956-27May2013, in Mill Fin Troy Oz

Central banks are buying gold as an overall strategy of forex portfolio diversification and the recent price drop will not deter them from a long term policy of diversification into gold. 

Central bank reserve managers are conservative rather than speculative and will ignore the day to day noise and price predictions emanating from certain banks in favour of passive allocations to gold as part of their foreign exchange diversification strategy. 

IMF World Gold Reserves, Monthly 31Mar2007-31Mar2013, in Mill Fin Troy Oz

While not driven by price, some central banks may have made the most of the lower prices by increasing their holdings by more than they would have if prices had risen in value.   

The long term trend for central banks to increase gold reserves remains intact and will support gold.

Central banks bought 534.6 tons of gold last year, the most since 1964, and may add as much as 550 tons in 2013, the World Gold Council estimates. While central-bank purchases fell 5.2 percent in the three months through March, they totaled more than 100 tons for the seventh straight quarter, according to council data.

IMF China Gold Reserves, Quarterly 01Jan1977-27May2013, in Mill Fin Troy Oz

China’s foreign currency reserves have surged more than 700% since 2004 and are now enough to buy every central bank’s official gold supply - twice.

China’s foreign reserves surpassed the value of all official bullion holdings in January 2004 and rose to $3.3 trillion at the end of 2012 and are at $3.4 trillion today.

The price of gold has failed to keep pace with the surge in the value of Chinese and global foreign exchange holdings. Gold has increased just 54% in the last 5 years and 250% since 2004, with the registered volume little changed, according to data based on International Monetary Fund and World Gold Council figures.

China’s Foreign Exchange Reserves vs Gold Monthly (2004-2013)

By comparison, China’s reserves rose 721% from 2004 through 2012, while the combined total among Brazil, Russia and India rose about 400% to $1.1 trillion.

Continuing diversification into gold from the huge foreign exchange reserves by the People’s Bank of China and other central banks is a primary pillar which will support gold and should contribute to higher prices in the coming years.

We are confident that the PBOC is quietly accumulating gold and we expect another announcement from the PBOC, possibly this year, when they again disclose to the market that they drastically increased their gold reserves – possibly from 1,054 tonnes to between 2,000 and 3,000 tonnes.


Central Banks Boosted Gold Holdings in April – Wall Street Journal

Gold Advances as Central Bank Purchases Counter Decline in ETPs - Bloomberg

Gold firm as stocks slip, dollar weakens versus yen - Reuters

Gold Bets Reach Five-Year Low With Prices Whipsawed 
– Business Week

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Mon, 05/27/2013 - 08:54 | 3600835 foxenburg
foxenburg's picture



Sorry, for a moment I thought this was tfmetalsreport.

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 08:58 | 3600845 MillionDollarBonus_
MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Contrary to the conclustions of this biased article, the first chart clearly demonstrates that central bank purchases have fallen dramatically since 2009. This should make goldbugz very, very worried. There is absolutely nothing out there that makes me bullish about the gold market.

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:02 | 3600854 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

That there is nothing out there that makes you bullish seems to me a very good reason to be bullishest.

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:11 | 3600868 eigenvalue
eigenvalue's picture

China is the straw that those dying gold bugs are trying to clutch.

Die, gold and silver bugs!

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:35 | 3600897 asteroids
asteroids's picture

What it shows is that Central Bankers the world over are bullshitters and liars when it comes to gold and silver. If they truly believed in their fiat system then they would let their inventories run out with time and not restock. They are doing the opposite.  Cowards.

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 10:24 | 3601000 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Everyone knows that gold and silver will be the only thing the great PM race is on. Don't expect anyone to tell you that.

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:58 | 3600942 Stuart
Stuart's picture


Mon, 05/27/2013 - 12:32 | 3601269 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

Though the third member of your 'power trio' is somewhat suspect, I do agree that MDB+eigenvalue=a value proposition...

and as usual, we owe MDB a vote of thanks, for bringing to our attention the obvious deficit of his(and all those of his ilk!) attention to the simple details of the chart from which he chose to launch his bombastic assault pon truth n accuracyin media:

read n weep MDB..."central bank buying...exclusive of China!" 

Ok/// Where do we start...?? how bout here... - wherein GM's Alistair McLeod gives the most reasoned and powerful explanation of just where the cards lie at this exact moment in time... a moment in which ... to quote the man in just one critical part of his brilliant assessment

Fundamental to all this is their attitude to Western currencies: the yen is now collapsing, the euro area is in deep trouble and the US economy is at very best stagnating. Until now, payment for Russian energy and Chinese goods in foreign currencies has been welcomed, because it has allowed the Russian and Chinese elites and middle classes to accumulate wealth. This balance of interests can only be maintained for so long as Russian and Chinese governments and their citizens can hedge foreign currency risks through an offsetting accumulation of foreign-owned gold.

This is no longer the case, because to all intents and purposes western capital markets are cleaned out of physical supplies, and the ability of the Western central banks to supress gold prices appears to be ending. And with the West’s financial system no longer able to deliver their most prized commodity, hitherto passive attitudes in Asia to Western currencies are likely to be reassessed.

As the Porker used to say..... Thathathat's all folks!

The balliffs are arriving on scene... "Big" Jim Willie asserts now that China owns +10 tons... and Russia at least 20. There's absolutely no need to be 'alarmed' ... just run and scream in total terror fiat folks!

And as eigenvalue has correctly pointed out ... for us gold\silver bugs... the 'die' is indeed 'cast'...and the 'straw house' that is the collapsing western ponzi scheme is about to be blown down by the "Circus Lupus" setting up it's tents on the edge of town!

We who have stayed the course... and the heat of the kitchen... are now ready to scarf up the just desserts of our travails... whilst our richly deserving bud MDB can look forward only to the bitter grounds of his chronic failure to 'pay attention to the details!'

As for 'timmy' n friends... I believe that somewhere south of Benghazi an inscription is ready made, but perhaps already scraped by the vast desert sands to illegibility... all we can say for sure...

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,



Mon, 05/27/2013 - 12:09 | 3601233 A. Magnus
A. Magnus's picture

"Die, gold and silver bugs!"

Just what we need - A piece of shit collaborator, banker ball sack-licking stool pigeon motherfucker spewing a bunch of Wall Street bullshit on our beloved Fight Club.

YOU go die, you FUCK!

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 06:01 | 3602963 awakening
awakening's picture

No fight club here. Exhibit A:

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 10:01 | 3600951 greatbeard
greatbeard's picture

>> , the first chart clearly demonstrates that central bank purchases have fallen dramatically since 2009.

Dramatically?  How can you come to that Drama Queen conclusion when the chart clearly excludes China, the largest single buyer?  And since the central banks have cut back "dramatically", gold has gone from mid $600 to $1,400.  Folks like Gordon Brown are not always the best market oricles.



Mon, 05/27/2013 - 08:59 | 3600848 Doña K
Doña K's picture

Who sold gold? And was it physical or just a registry shift?


Mon, 05/27/2013 - 08:57 | 3600840 Hail Spode
Hail Spode's picture

It appears that the world does not accept the word of America's financial media that gold is done.   Rather, they are using the paper smack down as an opportunity to trade paper for money.

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 08:57 | 3600842 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

So what? Do as they do, not as they say! Should be a no-brainer ....

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 08:58 | 3600844 SDRII
SDRII's picture

Marble mouth summers says it is a demand issue.

Yuan keeps setting at new highs as gold price flushes. ying to USD yang. 

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:00 | 3600849 MythicalFish
MythicalFish's picture

Greece??? Vhy are zey not paying back ze debt?!!

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:07 | 3600865 Doña K
Doña K's picture

Greece very smart: Buy gold with debt. Default on debt.

Same as Americans: Buy foreclosed house accross the street at half price of yours and rent it. Stop paying the mortgage on the first house. Live there for two years or so and when you get kicked out throw out the renters across the street and move there. Bingo free house.   

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 13:03 | 3601312 Nue
Nue's picture

Hmm I hear Greece has got a lot of terrorist better send in an army to loot liberate the place.

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 13:11 | 3601324 Fuh Querada
Fuh Querada's picture

Ask Greece where "their" gold is stored and whether they took advice from Mexico.

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:00 | 3600850 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

And when the price drops, central banks have to buy even more to catch up to the same reserve percentage as they had been at before.  This is also interesting:

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 10:11 | 3600984 cloudybrain
cloudybrain's picture

Basel III tier 1

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:07 | 3600860 unwashedmass
unwashedmass's picture

well the "operation" planned for tonight should be another fabulous gift to them all. 

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:29 | 3600885 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

If there is indeed an "operation" tonight, I will be waiting at the coin store to open with fiats.

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 11:06 | 3601075 unwashedmass
unwashedmass's picture


why are you waiting at coin shop in the morning? go online to the reputable dealers and caught the slaughter prices......

then send a money order.....every single one of these bloodbaths, I've managed to catch bargains with the various dealers who update prices constantly. 



Mon, 05/27/2013 - 17:11 | 3601864 WmMcK
WmMcK's picture

I wait at the coin shop and pay cash as to not be traced.

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:17 | 3600873 unwashedmass
unwashedmass's picture


i don't think its going to take thirty years. More like two years. Party is ending...faster than anyone is willing to acknowledge. 

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:28 | 3600883 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

If I were going to save fiats, the Yuan is very tempting to buy and hold.

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:31 | 3600886 unwashedmass
unwashedmass's picture

these days, i keep most of my cash in yuan 

no point in USD. don't want to being sitting in USD when the big slide starts

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 10:42 | 3601026 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

I think I will go to the credit union and see if I can buy someof these mysterious oriental Yuans for safekeeping, of course.

Does anyone know which "banks" in larger towns may have these Yuans?



Mon, 05/27/2013 - 11:07 | 3601080 Rustysilver
Rustysilver's picture


Go to any large bank that has Chines tellers.

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 11:23 | 3601115 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

I think he meant months. We will be lucky to still be around in 30 years. 

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:15 | 3600870 Tinky
Tinky's picture

Barbaric trend.

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:31 | 3600888 Bangin7GramRocks
Bangin7GramRocks's picture

Not busting balls but why participate in a market that is clearly fixed? Gold is the only item in world history that is decreasing in value as demand rises. Except for the armageddon angle, I refuse to play a game that is controlled by something other than market forces.

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:36 | 3600898 A82EBA
A82EBA's picture

check out Quin's 9 am post, video brightened my day

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:57 | 3600941 Kina
Kina's picture

 I refuse to play a game that is controlled by something other than market forces.


 Where is that 'market' that is subject to market forces? Everything is being heavily manipulated....there is no free market.

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 11:08 | 3601081 unwashedmass
unwashedmass's picture


and my response to this, yes, why participate indeed? why not just buy gold bullion, take delivery, and not participate in any of this? 

you can't actually buy any gold in size at the Comex -- fixed -- price. 

the CTFC isn't going to regulate the market. 

so why play at all? just take your gold and silver and go home. 


Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:31 | 3600889 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

MDB has to be Bennie or Jack(off) Lew.

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:33 | 3600891 resurger
resurger's picture

"A 7 Sigma move in gold prices happens once in 1 Billion years"


Am so glad that i bought the DIP

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:45 | 3600914 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

We are seeing a great rotation - from paper into physical.


Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:49 | 3600920 Confundido
Confundido's picture

As much as I sympathize and share the gold bug sentiment, I have to admit that this article is pure wishful thinking. There is no way, if it is true, that the Chinese will report their purchases. Why would they do that? It would be very stupid on their part and they are not stupid.

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 10:37 | 3601019 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

The only time they will announce will be when their reserves are greater than twice the US

as a % of GDP.

It will be a joint effort with all the BRICS ,and the non aligned nations.

The only question right now is;

Will  WWIII break out before ,or after they do it ?

I'm begining to think this year  at 50% probability of WWIII,  the end of 2014,at 90%.

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:55 | 3600937 RazvanM
RazvanM's picture

Don't buy gold. It's value will be zero in a few short months, after the economy will pass this rough patch. Green shots everywhere! Soon we will all have three meals a day and free electricity - all day long.

Note: no need for /sarc tag

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 11:06 | 3601076 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

I was promised a phone

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 10:00 | 3600949 Kina
Kina's picture

China wont want to advertise its strong buying....unless for political reasons to help break the USD as a sole reserve currency.....

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 10:10 | 3600976 Rustysilver
Rustysilver's picture


What percentage of Chinese exports are to US. What percentage is it to Europe. European market is about 400 million people, US is about 320 million. If the dollar implodes as many here wish, do you think that the trading would be "normal". The whole system would grind to a stop.


Mon, 05/27/2013 - 10:07 | 3600968 Magnum
Magnum's picture

Yet people still claim that the US govt conspires to make the gold price lower. Why? So Russia, China et al can buy it cheaper?

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 10:22 | 3600999 JD59
JD59's picture

They are just trying to keep the fiat paper debt system from imploding. Once the fiat system implodes, a sound money system will reappear globally.

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 14:31 | 3601429 screw face
screw face's picture

-cheaper for China..

According to some people recently interviewed on other sites.........Yup.

Thanks Max

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 10:43 | 3601029 exodus11
exodus11's picture

All these central banks are buying  gold, yet the price stays low. Makes no sense. Either these central banks are not really getting physical in their hands, they are lying, or they are taking all the supply from suckers who are selling it. I can't imagine there are any large sellers out there selling this kind of quantity.  It's possible these central banks are buying it from another central bank that is not actually shipping it, just allocating it for them. In which case it's a fraud and would make sense as there is no physical exchange and hence supply is not being taken off the market.

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