No End in Sight for Bank of Russia’s Gold-Buying Spree: Survey

An ongoing gold-buying spree by central banks which started in the past decade will probably continue for a while, a survey of central banks conducted by the World Gold Council and market research firm YouGov reveals, according to Bloomberg.

54% of the survey’s respondents expect global holdings to increase in the next 12 months amid concerns about risks in other reserve assets. Looking further ahead, two-thirds see gold’s share of reserves staying the same or rising in five years’ time, the news outlet writes.

Nations have expanded gold holdings by about 14% since 2009, with the hoard now valued at roughly $1.6 trillion. Nations from Russia to China to Poland have added to reserves as economic growth slows, trade and geopolitical tensions rise, and authorities seek to diversify away from the dollar. Bullion holdings rose by 651.5 tons last year, the most since 1971.

“This year’s survey signals another healthy year of central bank gold demand,” the World Gold Council said in a report Thursday. “In the next 12 months, heightened economic risks in reserve currency-issuing countries are seen as the main factor driving these purchases, but in the medium-term structural changes in the global economy may also play a role.”

While top buyers like China and Russia have continued purchases so far this year, global reserves saw a small decline in March to May, data compiled by the International Monetary Fund show.

The WGC and YouGov received 39 eligible responses from 150 central banks contacted as of mid-June, up from 22 respondents last year.