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Robert Lambourne: BIS intervention in gold remained steady in May

Section: Documentation

By Robert Lambourne
Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Bank for International Settlements has published its May statement of account, giving limited information on its use of gold swaps and other gold-related derivatives during the month:

The information provided by the BIS monthly statements is not sufficient to calculate a precise amount of gold-related derivatives, including swaps, used by the bank, but it appears that the bank's total exposure as of May 31 was around 415 tonnes of gold, which is essentially unchanged from April's 420 tonnes.

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This compares to estimates of 360 tonnes, 525 tonnes, 580 tonnes, 450 tonnes, 600 tonnes, and 570 tonnes, respectively, at the February, January, December, November, and October month-ends and an audited swaps figure of 438 tonnes as of March 31, 2017.

It seems that the BIS is continuing to trade actively in gold derivatives and the amounts disclosed each month have been following an irregular pattern.

When it comes to its activities in the gold market, the BIS provides little information on what it is doing, why, and for whom. The bank has refused GATA's request to explain its involvement in the gold market:

This lack of transparency fuels suspicion that the bank's trading is related to official efforts to suppress the gold price.


Robert Lambourne is a retired business executive in the United Kingdom who consults with GATA about the involvement of the Bank for International Settlements in the gold market.

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