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Russia, Kazakhstan Increase Bullion Reserves for Fourth Month

Russia and Kazakhstan expanded gold reserves for a fourth straight month in January, while Azerbaijan acquired bullion for the first time in more than three years, as central banks sought to diversify their assets.

Russian holdings climbed 12.2 metric tons to 970 tons last month after gaining 8.5 percent over 2012, according to International Monetary Fund data. Kazakhstan’s hoard grew 1.5 tons to 116.8 tons, following last year’s 41 percent expansion, data on the IMF website showed. Azerbaijan’s holdings rose 1 ton, the first gain since May 2009, when it held 64 ounces.