Central Banks Seen Buying More Gold, Yen, Renminbi to Diversify

Central banks are increasing purchases of gold, yen and China’s renminbi to reduce their dollar and euro holdings as a percentage of total reserves, the World Gold Council said.

Official holdings increased to more than $12 trillion in 2012 from $2 trillion in 2000, while the share of gold and currencies apart from the greenback tripled in absolute terms since 2008, the London-based council said today in a report. The group is funded by gold producers.

Central banks added 534.6 tons of gold to reserves in 2012, the most since 1964, the council said last month. Barclays Plc forecast government purchases of 300 tons in both 2013 and 2014. Currency debasement and inflation concerns will spur metal demand, Morgan Stanley said in a Feb. 25 report.

“Building gold reserves in tandem with new alternatives is an optimal strategy as central banks remain under-allocated to gold and many attractive alternatives are either too small or, as is the case with the renminbi, not yet open to broader international participation,” Ashish Bhatia, the manager for government affairs at the council, said in the report.

Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s largest producer, Newmont Mining Corp. and AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. are among council members.

To contact the reporter on this story: Debarati Roy in New York at droy5@bloomberg.net

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