Saudi gold reserves surge to 323 tonnes
Dubai, June 22, 2010
Saudi Arabia has been hoarding gold for the past year and its reserves have gone up substantially, from 143 tonnes previously reported, to 322.9 tonnes, it was revealed.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s fourth-largest holder of foreign exchange reserves.
The Saudi central bank said in a footnote of its latest quarterly report that gold data have been modified from first quarter 2008 as a result of the adjustment of the Sama’s gold accounts, according to a report in Commodity Online.
Analysts said the rise in official gold holdings probably represented an accounting shift rather than fresh purchases. One possibility is that a large fraction of the country’s gold was not considered until now part of the official reserves.
But without an official explanation, analysts were keeping options open. At current prices, the extra gold in Saudi Arabia’s official reserves amounts to $7 billion.
The WGC revelation about Riyadh’s gold holdings comes just a year after China surprised the bullion market when it revealed its gold holdings were more than 1,000 tonnes, almost double what it had reported for years.