Kazakhstan Central Bank Gold Reserves Rise to 318 Tons.
After adding gold to reserves for 68 consecutive months, the Central Bank of Kazakhstan’s gold reserves have pulled ahead the United Kingdom’s. As of the end of May, Kazakhstan’s gold reserves were 318.8 tons ahead of the United Kingdom’s 310.3 tons.
Kazakhstan’s gold holding are large compared to its population- just 34 million, compared to the United Kingdom’s 66 million. The GDP of Kazakhstan was $160 billion in 2017, while according to the International Monetary Fund the GDP of the United Kingdom was $2.5 trillion. Kazakhstan’s gold reserves were worth $13.357 billion as of May 30, 2018 or over 8% of their GDP!
Central banks gold buying over the past five years has been concentrated in the central banks of China, Russia and Kazakhstan. More recently, the Turkish central bank has begun adding gold to reserves. The gold buying of the People’s Bank of China and the Central Bank of Russia has been substantial enough to vault both of them into the top ten gold holding nations of the world. The PBOC, however has not reported adding gold to reserves since October 2016. Turkey’s gold acquisitions in 2017 and early 2018 have pushed it into the top ten. The National Bank of Kazakhstan’s gold purchases the past three years has moved it from thirty-fifth place to fifteenth place among gold holding nations – ahead of the United Kingdom and behind Saudi Arabia.
Kazakhstan’s Consistent Gold Buying
The National Bank of Kazakhstan added 40 tons of gold to her reserves in 2017 after adding 36 tons in 2016 and 23 tons in 2015. So far in 2018, Kazakhstan has added 16 tons of gold. As a result of increasing gold reserves, gold as a percentage of reserves has risen from about 28% in 2015 to about 43.5% in 2018.
Kazakhstan is a major producer of gold and has opted to retain some of its domestic mining production as central bank reserves.
Western Central Banks Hold or Sell Gold, While Eastern Central Banks Add Gold
Western central banks, it appears have gone all in on a debt based fiat currency system and have de-emphasized gold as a reserve asset. The central banks of Kazakhstan, Russia, China and more recently Turkey appear to be hedging their bets and protecting their economies from an international debt crisis by bolstering their gold reserves.
The central banks that constitute the top ten gold holding nations, other than Russia and China, have not added any gold to their reserves over the past five years. Indeed, many have not added gold for over thirty years.
Switzerland, sold over 1,000 tons of gold from 2000-2007 driving gold as a percentage of foreign reserves from 40% to about 8%. Switzerland now holds 1,040 tons of gold.
The Bank of England sold about 400 tons of gold from 1999-2002. Gordon Brown, the United Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer, led the sale during a period of time when gold was at multi-year low. The period of time during which the UK sold its gold is often referred to as “Brown’s Bottom”. Gordon Brown later became the UK’s Prime Minister. The Bank of England is no longer in the top ten gold holding nations and holds only 310 tons of gold.
The Central Bank of Canada sold off its remaining gold reserves in 2016 and no longer lists gold as a reserve asset.
The People’s Bank of China stopped reporting additional gold reserves in October 2016. The PBOC, however holds approximately 1843 tons of gold, the sixth largest central bank gold hoard in the world.
The Central Bank of Russia has added more gold the past three years than any other nation. The Central Bank of Russia added 224 tons of gold in 2017, 199 tons in 2016 and 208 tons in 2015. During the first five months of 2018 the Russian Central Bank added about 100 of gold to reserves.
This article by BGASC is not, and should not be regarded as, investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular course of action.