Russia’s Central Bank owns More Gold than China

By Eddie Van Der Walt | Published February 21, 2018, 8:27 AM PST

  • Bank of Russia has bought gold every month since March 2015
  • U.S. still largest owner of metal, followed by Germany

Russia has overtaken China as the fifth-biggest sovereign holder of gold, allowing it to diversity its foreign currency holdings amid a deepening rift with the U.S.

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.

Growing Gold Reserves

Bank of Russia bought gold every month since March 2015

Russia's Central Bank Gold Hoard Is Now Bigger Than China's

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 Know. Germany is the second-largest, with 3,374 tons, and the International Monetary Fund owns 2,814 tons.

Central Bank Gold Hoards

Bank of Russia overtook People’s Bank of China as fifth-largest sovereign gold owner

Russia's Central Bank Gold Hoard Is Now Bigger Than China's

Gold offers Russia independence from the dollar amid financial sanctions from the U.S. and it allies. The measures were imposed in 2014 as punishment for Russia’s involvement in Ukraine and could be tightened in future. Much of the country’s gold purchases come from local production — Russia is the world’s third-largest miner of the metal, according to research firm Metals Focus.

Source: Russia’s Central Bank Gold Hoard Is Now Bigger Than China’s