Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A couple of gold related news items

First, this article says Central Banks continued heavy gold buying in Q1 of 2014 at 122 tons purchased.

Here is the article:

"NEW YORK (Scrap Register): Net purchases of gold by global central banks reached 122.4 tons in the first quarter of this year, comfortably within the range of buying that has been in place for the last three years, said World Gold Council (WGC).

According to WGC, the biggest surprise of the quarter was the announcement in March from the Central Bank of Iraq that it had recently increased reserves by 36 tons. This follows comments in January by Muneer Omran, general manager of investments, that “Iraq has no plans to sell gold from its reserves”; although it was reported in April that it would mint 11t for sale domestically.
The announcement of a substantial increase in Iraqi reserves, along with continued buying from countries such as Russia (6 tons) and Kazakhstan (5 tons) in the first quarter, demonstrates the continued desire among central banks to accumulate gold for diversification purposes. Gold holdings in the euro area also increased by 7.7 tons in Q1 2014, as Latvia joined the currency union at the start of the year (1.1 tons of which was transferred to the ECB).
Germany remains the only active signatory of the Central Bank Gold Agreement (CBGA), owing to its coin-minting programme. During the first quarter it reduced its holdings by less than a tonne for this purpose."
"BEIJING (Scrap Monster):  China has added more glimmer to its dignified gold aspirations by inviting foreign banks and gold producers to take part in a global gold exchange in Shanghai that could challenge the dominance of New York and London in precious metal trade and pricing.
"China wants to have more voice in gold prices," said Mr. Jiang Shu, an analyst with Industrial Bank, one of 12 banks allowed importing gold into China. "The international exchange is the first step towards gaining a say in gold pricing."
According to the media report, China's central bank last week gave the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) has approached Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, HSBC, Standard Bank, Standard Chartered and Bank of Nova Scotia.
"If you don't allow foreign players to participate in your market actively, or do not push Chinese financial institutions to participate in the international market, then China's strong gold demand is only a number, not a power," Shu added.
Last year China overcame India as the world's top gold importer and gold jewelry and investment demand, rising to a record 1,065.8 tons."
added note: some sources estimate that as much as 2000 tons of gold may have been imported into China last year. The exact figures are difficult to pin down because China does not disclose the information on total imports.

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