Kazakhstan Extends Gold Buying Spree With Russia as Turkey Adds

  • Central banks bought gold in November as prices fell 6.8%
  • Barclays' Feifei Li expects countries to keep boosting assets

Kazakhstan increased its gold reserves for a 38th month as Russia and Turkey also expanded holdings, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Kazakhstan raised its stash to 7.03 million ounces in November from 6.96 million ounces a month earlier and Russia boosted assets to 44.78 million ounces from 44.07 million ounces, data on the IMF’s website showed. Turkey’s reserves increased to 16.39 million ounces from 16.10 million ounces.

The central banks bought bullion amid a 6.8 percent decline in prices last month as investors anticipated an increase in U.S. borrowing costs, a move confirmed by the Federal Reserve last week. While the IMF’s last update on China’s reserves is for September, figures from the People’s Bank of China show the country has boosted holdings by 5.1 percent since announcing in July a 57 percent jump in the previous six years.

“The buying trend will continue,” Feifei Li, an analyst at Barclays Plc, said by e-mail before the data were released. Emerging market countries such as Russia, China and Kazakhstan “have a long-term need to increase their reserves due to portfolio and strategic reasons.”

Central banks and other institutions boosted bullion purchases in the third quarter to the second highest on record to diversify their assets, according to the World Gold Council. Kazakhstan has about 27 percent of its reserves in gold, while Russia has 13 percent and China about 2 percent. Top holder U.S. has 73 percent of its reserves in the metal, council data show.

Bullion for immediate delivery sank to $1,046.44 an ounce on Dec. 3, the lowest since February 2010, and was at $1,077.95 on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. Gold doesn’t pay interest, damping its allure at a time of rising borrowing costs.