Russia has surpassed China as the fifth biggest holder of gold in the world. Russia seems to be diversifying its foreign currency holdings during a time when there seems to be political tension between the US and the Kremlin.
“The Bank of Russia in January increased its holdings by almost 20 metric tons to 1,857 tons, topping the People’s Bank of China’s reported 1,843 tons. While Russia has increased its holdings every month since March 2015, China last reported buying gold in October 2016,” reports Bloomberg.
The US is still the largest owner of gold, with 8.134 tons, much of it stored in Fort Knox. Gold has experienced higher demand due to global low-interest rates and negative interest rates as hard assets begin to look more appealing versus yield-bearing assets. With interest rates remaining low in many developed and emerging markets to couple the geopolitical risks in play today, is the time right for gold?
Not all central banks think so.
“Only three countries in the top 10 have increased their holdings materially in recent years, with Turkey being the third. The U.S. is still the largest owner of gold, with 8,134 tons, much of it stored in Fort Knox. Germany is the second-largest, with 3,374 tons, and the International Monetary Fund owns 2,814 tons,” according to Bloomberg.
However, with more and more geopolitical uncertainty are countries going to begin to look for independence from the dollar? Time will tell.