Russian Central Bank Sees No Need for Proposed Gold-Export Ban

Russia’s central bank sees no need for curbs on exports of gold as proposed by some lawmakers.

“We don’t believe that a moratorium is needed on gold exports,” Governor Elvira Nabiullina told parliament today. “We are able to buy enough gold to diversify our gold and currency reserves.”

State Duma deputies proposed the law banning companies registered outside Russia from exporting bullion, the state-controlled Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper said today. Plans were filed by Liberal Democratic Party member Mikhail Degtyarev on Nov. 14, according to the parliament’s website. Any gold that stays in the country because of the moratorium could be sold to the central bank at market prices to boost reserves, it showed.

The measure would help protect Russia against a financial crisis in the U.S. and Europe, according to Degtyarev, his party said on its website. While the central bank buys about 66 to 136 metric tons of gold a year, its reserves are growing too slowly, risking future financial stability, according to the website.

The world’s central banks bought 92.8 tons of gold in the third quarter, with more than a half of that bought by Russia, according to World Gold Council data published last week.

“The proposal looks surprising as nothing bans central banks from buying gold now and the price of bullion fell,” said Kirill Chuyko, BCS Financial Group head of equity research.

Gold has fallen 14 percent from a high in March and was up 1.1 percent today at $1,199.36 an ounce by 12:27 p.m. in London.

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