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Increase of Russia's gold reserves in September biggest since 1998 -- Bloomberg

Russia's gold reserves have reached the biggest mark since 1998 when the country defaulted on local debt, Bloomberg said Wednesday. The country's bullion holdings are now the biggest in almost two decades, the agency said.

The report indicated that "Russian reserves, which overtook China and Switzerland this year, almost tripled since the end of 2005 and are the highest since at least 1993."

The agency said Russia mined 248.8 tons of gold last year, thus occupying the third position among global producers, with China and Australia being number one and number two. The London-based World Gold Council says gold accounts for 10% of Russia's total reserves.

Bloomberg says the latter parameter compares with the US and Germany where bullion holdings make up almost 70% of all reserves.

It quoted Daniel Briesemann, an analyst at Germany's Commerzbank in Frankfurt as saying the ratio of gold holdings compared to foreign-exchange reserves is still relatively low in most countries, "so there's still room to buy more goal."

"Buying gold might be a protection against devaluing currencies," he said.

[Source: Itar Tass, London, 29Oct14]

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