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Sri Lanka sells monetary gold as forex reserves drop
From Economy Next, Columbo, Sri Lanka
Saturday, January 8, 2022
Sri Lanka liquidated a part of its gold holdings in December 2020 to boost liquid foreign assets in line with a drop in annual foreign reserves holdings, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said, even as year-end reserves were boosted with a swap from China.
The central bank is estimated to have sold about 3.6 tonnes out of a 6.69 tonne stockpile of gold (about 215,000 troy ounces) it had at the beginning of 2021, leaving it with around 3.0 to 3.1 tonnes of gold.
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In 2020 also the central bank also sold 12.3 tonnes of gold after starting the year with 19.6 tonnes of gold.
The gold sales was to boost liquid reserves, Governor Cabraal said.
"When reserves reduce we reduce the gold holding," Cabraal said. “We bought gold when foreign reserves were going up.
"Once the reserve levels increase over 5 billion U.S. dollars, CBSL will consider increasing the gold holdings."
Sri Lanka's gross foreign reserves picked up to 3,137 million U.S. dollars in December, after dropping to 1,588 million U.S. dollars in November, though reserves are down from 5,665 million dollars at end of 2020.
It is the fourth year running that Sri Lanka has sold gold. ...
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