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Turkey, Russia, Ukraine & Kazakhstan Diversify in Gold

Russia’s bullion reserves climbed to 911.3 tons last month when gold averaged $1,587.68 an ounce, data on the IMF’s website showed. Ukraine’s climbed 2.1 tons to 32.7 tons and Kazakhstan boosted reserves by 1.8 tons to 100 tons, the data show.
Central banks are expanding reserves due to the Eurozone debt crisis and concerns about fiat currency debasement.
Central banks are on course to buy more bullion this year than the purchases of about 456 tons in 2011 as countries diversify their reserves.
 Turkey has allowed banks to hold more of their reserves in gold to provide extra liquidity. The central bank this month raised the proportion of reserve requirements that can be held in foreign exchange to 50% from 45%, while the limit for gold was increased to 25% from 20%. The changes will add as much as $2.2 billion to gold reserves.
Gold accounts for about 9.1% of Russia’s total reserves, 5.1% of Ukraine’s and 15% of Kazakhstan’s, according to the World Gold Council. That compares with more than 70% for the US and Germany, the biggest bullion holders, according to Bloomberg figures.
Kazakhstan plans to raise the amount of gold it holds as part of its reserves to 20%, Bisengaly Tadzhiyakov, deputy chairman of the country’s central bank, said earlier this month.
Central bank demand and Chinese demand alone should be enough to put a floor under prices near these levels and gold looks well positioned for another summer rally akin to the one seen last July and August (see chart above).
Other News
(Reuters Global Gold Forum) – Turkey raised its reported gold holdings by 5.692 tonnes in May to a total 244.986 tonnes, International Monetary Fund data showed, making it the latest in a string of countries to increase bullion reserves this year.
(Bloomberg) – IShares Silver Trust Holdings Unchanged at 9,876 Metric Tons
Silver holdings in the IShares Silver Trust, the biggest exchange-traded fund backed by silver, were unchanged at 9,875.75 metric tons as of June 25, according to figures on the company’s website.
 (Reuters Global Gold Forum) –
Nomura has cut its gold price forecast by 2% for 2012 to $1,754/oz. and by 4% for 2013 to $1,981. A note says: “2H 2012 is expected to be stronger for gold, with 3Q traditionally a strong seasonal period for Indian demand.”
Cross Currency Table – (Bloomberg)
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