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RBI enters top-10 list of gold holders with 52.3-tonne purchase in FY19

Till about a month ago, the central bank was ranked 11th, but in March it added 3.7 tonnes of gold to its forex reserves and dislodged the Netherlands from the 10th spot

Rajesh Bhayani  |  Mumbai 

rbi, reserve bank of india
The latest data shows the RBI’s gold holding is 6.1 per cent of its overall foreign exchange reserves

The purchased 52.3 tonnes in FY19 to augment its reserves, according to the latest data released on Tuesday by the World Council. With this, it has entered league of world's top-10 holding central banks. currently holds 612.6 tonnes of the metal as part of its reserves. Till about a month ago, the central bank was ranked 11th, but in March it added 3.7 tonnes of gold to its forex reserves and dislodged the Netherlands from the 10th spot.

The derives data on gold reserves from International Financial Statistics under International Monetary Fund. All signatory central banks have to provide monthly updates to the IMF on their gold purchases forming part of their reserves.

The latest data shows the RBI’s gold holding is 6.1 per cent of its overall foreign exchange reserves. India’s central bank started adding gold from over a year ago after staying put for eight years. Previously it had added gold in November 2009 when it bought 200 tonnes from IMF.

Not just RBI, many other global central banks, such as those in Russia, China and Turkey have started adding gold in a big way to their forex reserves.

Alistair Hewitt, Director of Market Intelligence, says, “Initial data released by the IMF shows central bank gold demand remains in good health. Net purchases amounted to healthy 43 tonnes, (which is) eight per cent higher month-on-month. Reported net purchases for 2019 so far total 207 tonnes, the highest year-to-date total since central banks became net buyers in 2010.”

World Official Gold Holdings (As of June 2019*)

Rank Country/Region Tonnes
1 United States 8,133
2 Germany 3,368
3 IMF 2,814
4 Italy 2,452
5 France 2,436
6 Russian Federation 2,183
7 China 1,900
8 Switzerland 1,040
9 Japan 765
10 India 613
11 Netherlands 612
12 ECB 505
13 Taiwan Province of China 424
14 Portugal 383
15 Kazakhstan 367

* As per the latest reports data available at that time

Source: World Gold Council

Compiled by B Sresearch Bureau

First Published: Tue, June 04 2019. 15:29 IST
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