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Monday, September 28, 2009

GCC Central banks hold on to their gold reserves

Emirates Business 24-7, 27 September 2009Central banks across the world held on to their gold reserves in the past quarter (July-September) as governments searched their way out of the economic depression, recent data released by the World Gold Council (WGC) showed.Even as the total volume of gold held by central banks remained almost constant, their value as a percentage of total assets held marginally declined in most of the cases, the WGC data highlighted. Two GCC countries -Saudi Arabia and Qatar - were mentioned on the list and they were shown to have maintained their gold reserves in the past three months. As per WGC's 'World official gold holdings' for September 2009, the US and Germany with 8,133.5 and 3,408.3 tonnes of reserves are the countries with the highest amount of gold reserves in the world. China, the world's largest gold producer, apparently slowed its gold accumulation spree. It holds 1,054 tonnes of gold, which is just 1.8 per cent of its total reserves.The WGC did not publish data regarding the UAE Central BankUAE Central Bank's gold reserve. WGC data shows that the country has stopped keeping its reserves in gold since 2003 onwards.Saudi Arabia and Qatar were shown were as having 12.3 and 2.3 per cent of their reserves in gold. The figure stood at 12.4 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively for the two hydrocarbon rich countries in March 2009.While Germany was a prominent disposer of gold in the last quarter, France the other major European economy accumulated gold in the last quarter. The two European nations recently recorded an above-zero spike in growth rate. While Germany disposed 4.3 tonnes of gold in the last quarter, France amassed 5.6 tonnes of the yellow metal. WGC CEO Aram Shishmanian earlier said the GCC central banks are looking forward to improving their gold reserves. "Central banks with low reserves of gold are looking forward to increasing their reserves. They are trying to analyse what the right balance should be. They are getting aggressive," he had said.The bullion has seesawed between $900 an ounce and $1,020 this year having touched the upper mark recently. The yellow metal traded at about $991.70 an ounce yesterday. It is expected to find support at $975 an ounce before commencing an upward journey again.Jeffrey Rhodes, Chief Exec utive of Intel Commodities, said that the bullion is expected to touch a "new high" beyond $1,100 an ounce by the end of 2009.
By Shashank Shekhar
© Emirates Business 24/7 2009

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