Central banks bought 534.6 metric tons of the precious metal last year, the most since 1964.
LONDON(BullionStreet): Global central banks bought more gold in 2012, in nearly five decades, as they sought to diversify reserves, the World Gold Council (WGC) said.
Central banks bought 534.6 metric tons of the precious metal last year – the most since 1964 – led by Russia, Brazil and Iraq.
Net purchases by central banks accounted for 12 percent of overall demand in 2012, compared with a 10 percent share in 2011.
According to WGC' s latest quarterly report on gold demand trends, countries actively adding to their official gold holdings remains heavily concentrated in developing markets, which partly reflects the scale of growth in the reserves of these markets over recent years.
As the official reserves of these countries swell, with their heavy emphasis on U.S. dollar and euro-denominated assets, the need for diversification also increases, WGC report said.
Central banks have been the net purchasers of bullion since the second quarter of 2009, amassing nearly 1,100 metric tons to their gold reserves since, almost reversing the 1,143 metric tons of net sales in the preceding three years, according to data from the organization.