CHINA June 14 2016 2:33 PM
LONDON (Scrap Register): There has been some divergence in central-bank gold activity, but those buying to diversify reverses are likely to keep doing so, even though the pace may slow, said Societe Generale.
Venezuela sold 88 tons of gold in 2015 and 43 in the first quarter, said Societe Generale, citing data from the International Monetary Fund. The cash-strapped country “has limited other resources to fall back on at present,” Societe Generale added.
Meanwhile, Russia bought another 62 tons in the first quarter, as the country and China both seek to diversify assets. The bank points out there is a major difference in gold reserves of these nations – Russia and China held 15.7% and 2.3% of their reserves in gold over the last 12 months, respectively, while Venezuela stood at 65.9%.
Despite sales by Venezuela and potentially other Latin American nations, Societe Generale said it does not envision a “return to sales levels witnessed at the peaks of the decade either side of the millennium,” especially signatory nations in the Central Bank Gold Agreement.
Societe Generale does expect to see China to continue making fresh purchases at the current high levels throughout the rest of this year, while Russia will continue to buy, but it's higher percentage of reserves and severe economic recession may mean the pace slows.