Where does Russia keep its huge gold reserves?

July 29, 2018

Moscow (July 29)  Amid growing uncertainty across global financial markets fueled by both geopolitical and trade conflicts, countries and investors have traditionally sought safety in gold.

Some nations have started to either repatriate gold from abroad or actively buy the precious metal over recent years. Last year, the German central bank (Bundesbank) brought back 674 tons of gold reserves kept in Paris and New York since the Cold War. Earlier this year, Turkish media reported that in 2017 Ankara repatriated 220 tons of gold from abroad with 28.7 tons was brought back from the US. At the same time, the National Bank of Hungary announced plans to repatriate the country’s 100,000 ounces (3 tons) of gold reserves from London.

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Over the recent decade, central banks across the globe turned from being net sellers of gold to net buyers of gold with official sector activity jumping 36 percent to 366 tons in 2017 against the previous year. Demand in the first quarter of the current year was up 42 percent year-on-year, with purchases totaling 116.5 tons for the highest first quarter total since 2014, according to the World Gold Council.

Russia, which is currently number five among the countries with the largest gold reserves of nearly 2,000 tons, has been the biggest purchaser of the precious metal for the past six years. In 2017, the country’s central bank bought 224 tons of bullion with another 106 tons purchased in the first six months of the current year. The Bank of Russia explains the strategy as part of diversifying the country's reserves away from the US dollar.

Nearly two thirds of the nation’s gold is reportedly kept in a Central Bank repository in Moscow with the rest is stored in the country’s Northern capital of St. Petersburg and the Ural city of Yekaterinburg. Russia’s gold is reportedly kept in bullions weighing from 100 grams to 14 kilograms.



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