Russian banks have increased gold reserves to a record

Russian banks have increased gold reserves to a record – Russian banks increased their investment in precious metals by 117.95 billion rubles in August, the Bank of Russia said in a comment. As of September 1, the sector's investments in this asset were at the level of RUB 567.86 billion.

As noted by RBC, in terms of gold, banks' reserves have updated a historical record: as of the reporting date, they reached 121 tons, which is 10.9% higher than the maximum set in October 2019 (109.1 tons).

In August, credit institutions increased their reserves of precious metals by 23.3 tons in terms of gold, says Maxim Osadchiy, an analyst at BKF bank, in a comment to RBC. According to him, this is the most significant increase in the balance sheets of banks for the entire period of disclosure of statistics.

Russian banks began to increase their gold holdings after a six-month contraction in May. Since April 1, the Bank of Russia has temporarily stopped buying gold on the domestic market. The task of increasing exports put banks in a difficult position – due to the coronavirus pandemic, they had difficulties with the delivery of goods. By the middle of the month, the problem was partially resolved, the president of the National Financial Association Vasily Zablotsky said in a comment to RBC. According to him, the Ministry of Transport has expanded the list of boards that can carry such cargo.

So, in May, the volume of precious metals on the balance sheet of financial institutions increased by 15.79 billion rubles, or 5.3% compared to the previous month. As of June 1, the indicator was at the level of 312.36 billion rubles. In terms of gold, the increase for the last month amounted to 6.2 tons, or 8.45% compared to April. Analysts explained the change in tactics of organizations, including the rise in gold prices amid fears of the second wave of the pandemic.

(Text prepared by Yana Shebalina)

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