After slowing in May Chinese and Russian banks increased gold purchase in June. According to the central bank data, Russia’s additions totaled around 18 mt in June from around 5 mt in May and its the largest purchase since January.
Russia makes the total purchase to 66 mt in 2016, just below 68 mt for the same period in 2015. Russia has added 61 mt of gold to its reserves this year, having added around 106 mt in 2015, from when it started reporting additions in June, to December.
China’s total gold holdings now stand at 1,823 mt, making it the sixth largest holder of gold reserves, according to the IMF, behind the US, Germany, the IMF itself, Italy and France.
In the last two years Russia and China have accounted fro about 95 % of total central bank purchases, as both countries look to diversify assets away from foreign currency. Russia holds around 15% of its reserves in gold, according to the IMF, China just 2.1%. In comparison the USA holds close to 75% of its reserves in gold, with many European countries over 65%.