Central Bank of Russia became the world’s leading purchaser of gold, as it bought 356,000 ounces of the precious metal in February 2016, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In general, Russia increased its reserves of monetary gold by 208.4 metric tons in 2015 and continues to buy the precious metal at a growing pace.
China follows Russia with about 320,000 ounces of gold bought in February 2016, according to the Chinese Central Bank.
Interestingly enough, since the beginning of 2016 the yellow metal has become “the year’s best-performing major asset” rising by almost 16 percent. “In January 2016 the Russian Central Bank again bought 22 tons of gold, around $800 million at current exchange rates, that, amidst US and EU financial sanctions and low oil prices.
Russia now has 1,437 tons of gold in reserve, the sixth largest of any nation according to the World Gold Council in London.
Only USA, Germany, Italy, France and China central banks hold a larger tonnage of gold reserves, researcher stresses.
Gold serves as a “buffer” against external economic risks and it is clear that Russia puts the precious metal before the US dollar. In the context of an upcoming upheaval in the global economy, predicted by Lord Jacob Rothschild in late December 2015, the move looks increasingly wise.