Thursday, June 07, 2012 -
The Kazakh central bank said Thursday it plans to buy gold after selling off euros in the face of a deepening European debt crisis.
Central bank deputy governor Bisengali Tadzhiyakov said the government will raise the gold holdings of its foreign currency and gold reserves to 15 percent, from 12 percent currently, the Reuters news agency reported.
Tadzhiyakov said the central bank had already tied down contracts with suppliers in Kazakhstan to buy 24.3 short tons of gold.
Under a state ruling, gold producers in Central Asia’s largest economy must sell all their gold to the bank.
Kazakhstan’s net gold and foreign currency reserves amounted to $33.8 billion in value at the end of last month.
A day earlier, the bank’s governor, Grigory Marchenko, said Kazakhstan has reduced the share of euro to 25 percent of its foreign currency reserves, from 30 percent.
“The share of euro has been reduced to 25 percent. So far we don’t plan to further change the breakdown of currencies in the nation’s currency reserves. Last year the share of euro stood at 30 percent,” the Tengrinews.kz news agency reported Marchenko as saying.
The central bank replaced the euro share with currencies other than the U.S. dollar, he told a press conference in the capital Astana.
“We have expanded the range of currencies,” he said.