Russia’s gold reserves rose to more than $100 billion thanks to rising gold prices and the country’s efforts to boost its bullion holdings. In June alone, Russia added more than 18 tons of the precious metal.
June’s gold purchases brought Russia’s gold reserves to a total of 2,208 tons, according to the latest data released by the Central Bank of Russia (CBR). This meant Russia was sitting on a mountain of gold valued at $100,277.6 million as of July 1, the CBR report shows.
Since the beginning of the year the national holdings of the precious metal have been increased by around 96.4 tons amid Moscow’s push to de-dollarize its foreign exchange reserves. More than 6 tons were added to Russia’s coffers in May, around 16 tons in April, and a further 18 tons in March.
The biggest gold shopping spree came in February, when Russian gold reserves rose by more than 31 tons in one month. During the first month of the year 6 tons of gold were added.
Last year, Russia was crowned the most committed purchaser of gold as it acquired almost 275 tons, the largest amount ever purchased in a single year, according to the World Gold Council.
“Russia, right now, obviously wants to buy as much gold as it can while the price is still relatively cheap. That allows it to build up a bigger hoard of gold to replace the diminished value that the dollar is going to play as a reserve currency,” veteran broker Peter Schiff previously told RT. The analyst later predicted that the precious metal is set to top its 2011 highs (up to $1900 per ounce) in the near future.
Moscow used to be one of the largest investors in US Treasury securities, but has sold off much of them in recent years. Russia’s holdings of US debt are currently at the lowest level since May 2007 totaling $12.024 billion. Last year, Russia reduced its holdings by more than 85 percent, from $96.9 billion in January to $13.2 billion in December.
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