Russia, Kazakhstan Boost Gold Reserves as Turkey Cuts, IMF Says

Russia and Kazakhstan expanded their
gold reserves for a ninth straight month in June as purchases
slowed amid a price slump.

Russian holdings, the seventh-largest by country, climbed
0.3 metric tons to 996.4 tons, the smallest gain since reserves
started to increase in October, International Monetary Fund data
show. Kazakhstan’s hoard grew 1.4 tons to 130.9 tons, the
smallest expansion since March, data on the website showed.
Turkey’s holdings fell for the first time in a year.

Gold slumped 11 percent in June, the biggest monthly loss
since September 2011. Prices dropped 23 percent in the second
quarter, the worst such performance since at least 1920, as gold
entered a bear market in April after investors sold metal from
exchange-traded funds at a record pace. Prices are down 20
percent this year amid speculation the U.S. Federal Reserve may
taper its bond-buying program that helped bullion cap a 12-year
bull run in 2012.

“The flows in the central banks are pretty small now, the
big shifts are gone,” Justin Smirk, senior economist at Westpac
Banking Corp. (WBC)
, said by phone from Sydney. “Central bank buying
might give us a little bit of a floor, but they’re just soaking
up some of what the ETFs are selling. You’re not going to see
central banks coming in to push the price up.”

Gold for immediate delivery traded at $1,338.13 an ounce by
10:20 a.m. in Singapore, gaining 8.4 percent in July and set for
the best month since January 2012 as lower prices lured buyers.

Turkey Sells

Bullion is heading for its biggest annual drop since 1997
after advancing for 12 years. Gold may resume a bull run if
China’s central bank or major Western countries announce gold
buying plans, Andrew Wang, general manager of the precious metal
department at Standard Bank, said at a conference in Shanghai in

Azerbaijan’s holdings increased 2 tons and Ukraine’s hoard
rose 2.5 tons, the IMF data show. Belarus, Greece and the Kyrgyz
Republic were among nations that added bullion in June, while
Mozambique, Serbia and Tajikistan increased holdings in May,
according to the data, which update as countries report.

Turkey’s holdings fell 3.8 tons to 441.5 tons in June,
after increasing for 11 months through May as it accepted gold
in its reserve requirements from commercial banks.

Mexico cut its gold reserves for a 14th month. Germany,
Guatemala and Suriname also reduced holdings in June, while
Mongolia and Sri Lanka sold in May, the data showed.

— Editor: James Poole

To contact the reporters on this story:
Glenys Sim in Singapore at;
Debarati Roy in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
James Poole at

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