According to multiple media outlets, the Russian Central Bank is once again aggressively accumulating gold bullion, reflecting the determination of Russian president Vladimir Putin to stabilize the faltering Russian economy with a strong backbone of hard assets. The Russian Central Bank reportedly purchased 28 tons of gold bullion in March of this year, the largest one month purchase amount since September of 2014.
Russia now possesses well over 1,000 tons of gold, with the latest figures indicating a reserve amount of 1,128 tons. This places Russia at fifth of all nations in terms of gold reserves, trailing only France, Italy, Germany and the United States. What prompted the Russians to once again begin accumulating gold is by all accounts the rise in the value of the Russian ruble. The ruble had been faltering in recent months and as a result made gold purchases prohibitively expensive.
Some analysts are concluding that the Russian gold purchases are an indication that central banks in general will be increasing net purchases of gold bullion in 2015, to a large extent because that will enable them to diversify their massive foreign reserves into hard assets and reduce overall currency risks.
David Jollie, a precious metals analyst, indicates he believes that even though Russia has suffered from western sanctions, the fact that they are buying gold “sends a very bullish signal to the gold market.” With Russia having purchased 175 tons of gold in 2014, their recent purchases could very well be a sign of things to come in 2015 as central banks around the world accelerate their hoarding of precious metals.
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