It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
SHANGHAI/BEIJING - China revealed on Friday that it had secretly raised its gold reserves by three-quarters since 2003, increasing its holdings to 1,054 tonnes - or a pot worth about US$30.9-billion - and confirming years of speculation it had been buying.
Hu Xiaolian, head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, told Xinhua news agency in an interview that the country's reserves had risen by 454 tonnes from 600 tonnes since 2003, when China last adjusted its state gold reserves figure.
The confirmation of its surreptitious stockpiling is likely to fuel market talk about Beijing's ability to buy secretly and its ambitions for spending its nearly US$2-trillion pile of savings. And not just in gold: copper and other metals markets are booming thanks to China's barely-visible hand.
But Hu said the increase in China's stocks was achieved by buying on the domestic market and from domestic producers.
China is the world's largest gold producer and does not permit exports of gold ingots, only jewellery, leaving plentiful supplies for the domestic market.
China produced 282 tonnes of gold last year, meaning the state bought around one quarter of domestic production, assuming 454 tonnes increase in state purchases were spread out over the six years since China last reported a change in its holdings.
Despite the rumours, buying by the state was partially obscured by soaring demand for gold as an investment, especially after the bursting of the Shanghai stock market bubble last year.
Investment demand in China rose to 68.9 tonnes from 25.6 tonnes in 2007. But that was still less than one third of retail demand in India, where total bullion consumption topped 660 tonnes last year.
Hu said China recently reported the change in its gold holdings to the International Monetary Fund and would include the latest change in central bank reports and balance of payment statistics.
She did not say when China notified the IMF.
Although gold rose after Hu's comments were published, the price move was
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Gold futures rose Tuesday for a fourth session, climbing to the highest level in two months, as the U.S. dollar remained at 10-month low and as a consultancy forecast that global central banks will sell the lowest amount of gold in 15 years this year.
GFMS of London said Monday that signatories of the Central Bank Gold Agreement are expected to sell about 140 metric tons this year, the lowest level since 1994. The firm also said last week that second-quarter supply of scrap gold plummeted by more than 40% from the previous quarter to 350 metric tons.