Brazil doubles gold reserve to highest level in 12 years

Brazil increased gold reserves for a third month in November to double the country’s holdings since August, reaching levels not seen since November 2000, show data published by the International Monetary Fund.

The country, home Latin America’s largest economy, raised its bullion holdings by 14.7 tonnes in November to 67.2 tonnes, the highest level since November 2000.

The move comes on the back central banks from Russia to Belarus and South Korea adding the precious metal to diversify their assets.

Only weeks ago, in late November, the South American nation increased its gold reserves to 52.5 tonnes, the highest level since January 2001. The country purchased 17.2 tons in October after buying 1.7 tons in September, the first increase since 2008. Russia’s holdings increased 2.9 tons last month and Belarus’s reserves expanded 1.4 tons, IMF data show. Turkey pared holdings 5.9 tons and Mexico sold 0.1 ton.

Brazil, whose gold account for about 5% of its total reserves, is the latest emerging economy to buy gold.

Central banks have lately been diversifying their holding.  The IMF said that — as a group— they are now set to buy almost 500 tonnes of gold before the end of the year. This would represent the highest amount in over 40 years.

In addition to Brazil, others nations including Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and Paraguay have recently been adding to their bullion holdings.

These significant purchases are likely to boost gold prices. Still, the metal slumped to $1,635.70 yesterday, the lowest since Aug. 22.

Image by Flávio Cruvinel

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