Iraq boosts gold reserves by 25 tonnes
By Javier Blas
Financial Times, London
Friday, December 21, 2012
Iraq has joined the growing list of countries buying gold for their official reserves, purchasing more than 25 tonnes of the precious metal in the market to beef up the gold reserves of its central bank for the first time in years.
The purchases by Baghdad come as Iran is using gold as a currency to settle import-export transactions with neighbouring countries, including Turkey. But Iraq has so far not disclosed any gold transaction with Tehran.
Analysts said it was unclear whether the purchases showed dealings with Iran or were simply a sign that the Iraqi central bank is diversifying its foreign exchange reserves, as others in emerging countries have done recently.
... Dispatch continues below ...
GoldMoney adds Singapore vaulting option
In addition to its precious metals storage facilities in Hong Kong, Switzerland, Toronto, and the United Kingdom, now with GoldMoney you can store gold and silver in Singapore in a high-security vault operated by Brink's Singapore Pte Limited. To celebrate the launch of this storage option, GoldMoney is offering a discount on buy and exchange fees at this vault for any orders above US$10,000 (or the equivalent) until January 11, 2013. Tthe gold buy rate is 0.98%, while the silver rate is 1.99%. Metal exchanges into Brink's Singapore will also be discounted for this period and will be charged at 0.78% for gold and 1.75% for silver. Simply place your order online and the above rates apply automatically until January 11, 2013, 15.00 UK time. To find out more about the new vault, please visit:
GoldMoney customers can take delivery of any number of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bars from any GoldMoney vault, as well as personally collect their bars stored in the Hong Kong, Switzerland, and U.K. vaults.
It's easy to open an account, add funds, and liquidate your investment. For more information, visit:
Iraq joins countries from Russia to Brazil in buying gold to diversify its official reserves this year. According to data released late on Thursday by the International Monetary Fund, Iraq bought gold during August-September, lifting its official precious metals reserves from 5.8 tonnes to 31.07 tonnes.
The so-called official sector -- a group that includes central banks, sovereign wealth funds, and other quasi-government entities -- has been a significant buyer of gold since 2010, having been a strong seller in the previous 15 years.
The Iraqi additions are among the biggest officially reported so far this year, behind only Russia, Turkey, and Kazakhstan. Some countries have bought gold secretly in the past, including China, disclosing their purchases years later.
The purchases have lifted Iraq in the global ranking of gold holders from 78th to 54th position, according to data from the World Gold Council, the lobby group of the gold industry. Iraq is the first buyer of gold in the Middle East region that has acknowledged its purchases, although the market suspects Saudi Arabia and several regional sovereign wealth funds have also bought gold in the past.
"Having a new buyer in the central bank space, and especially from a new region, is an important development," said Joni Teves at UBS in London.
Gold has been trading in a relatively narrow band of between $1,500 and $1,800 per troy ounce for the past year. Over the past week, spot gold prices in London fell 2.5 per cent to $1,651 per ounce. On Thursday, gold prices briefly hit their lowest since August, trading at $1,635 per ounce on the spot market.
Weak physical demand, particularly from India and China, has weighed on the gold market for most of the year, analysts said. The weakness from the jewellery sector is so far offsetting bullish financial factors, including ultra-low interests rates in major economies and the worries about the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic tax increases and spending cuts in the US.
* * *
Join GATA here:
Vancouver Resource Investment Conference
Sunday-Monday, January 20 and 21, 2013
Vancouver Convention Centre West
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
* * *
Support GATA by purchasing DVDs of our London conference in August 2011 or our Dawson City conference in August 2006:
Or by purchasing a colorful GATA T-shirt:
Or a colorful poster of GATA's full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal on January 31, 2009:
Help keep GATA going
GATA is a civil rights and educational organization based in the United States and tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Its e-mail dispatches are free, and you can subscribe at:
To contribute to GATA, please visit: